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How Long Can You Keep an Unopened Fire Extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers can last anywhere from 3 to 12 years, with exact age lengths varying from manufacturer to manufacturer. Look at the bottom of the extinguisher for the manufacturer's expiration date.

Fire extinguishers need to be replaced periodically.

Consult the Extinguisher's Rating

Fire extinguishers can last anywhere from 3 to 12 years, with exact age lengths varying from manufacturer to manufacturer. Look at the bottom of the extinguisher for the manufacturer's expiration date. You shouldn't have to replace the extinguisher until this date is approaching, or until the pressure meter on the extinguisher's head falls below the green area.

Check the Extinguisher Regularly

You should inspect your extinguisher every month, visually examining it for signs of corrosion, leakage, clogged nozzles or damage of any sort. Make sure the extinguisher is easily accessible at all times, and is never obstructed. Replace the extinguisher when it shows signs of age or wear, not when it reaches an arbitrary shelf life.

Bottom Line

Fire extinguishers don't last forever. While you shouldn't keep one longer than its recommended lifespan, you should definitely replace it if it's in anything but perfect condition. And as always, if the pressure meter is in the red, it's time to get a new extinguisher.

About the Author

Mark Keller has been writing everything from short stories to political commentary over the course of the past decade. He has written professionally since 2009 with articles appearing on LibertyMaven.com, Penguinsightings.org, Pepidemic.com and various other websites. He is a theater major at Hillsdale College in Michigan.