Green is CoolEco LifestyleWhat Do You Do with Old Fire Extinguishers: Waste Recycling Measures & Safety
Eco Lifestyle

What Do You Do with Old Fire Extinguishers: Waste Recycling Measures & Safety

Nov.10.2021 40 view review
What Do You Do with Old Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are an essential element to the fire fighting department and are extremely important for health and safety reasons. In most buildings, stores, and even public transport vehicles, there is a fire extinguisher present, ready to be used in case of emergencies. Although most of us have witnessed their use in movies and TV shows, only a select few of us have actually experienced a real-life situation that involves a fire extinguisher. There are a lot of valid questions revolving not only around how to use it and its impact on the environment but also on what to do with it once you have used it. The truth is fire extinguisher disposal is extremely significant and the difference between polluting and protecting the planet. It is a concept that is often not discussed but essential to learn, and here’s everything you need to know about how to properly dispose of old fire extinguishers.

What Is a Fire Extinguisher?

Before we can really get into what to do with old fire extinguishers, it may be important to know what exactly a fire extinguisher is, what they are made of and how they are used. A fire extinguisher is a moveable or portable tool that is used to put out small fires, when directly into the burning substance. They are primarily used to reduce or calm a fire before the firefighters appear on the scene. It is actually required by law that there are a certain number of fire extinguishers in any given radius in public transport, stations, buildings, shopping malls, and factories.

Fire extinguishers work by essentially separating the fuel from the oxygen, which is what ignites the flames. There are different types of fire extinguishers that would be used in different situations, for example for flammable metals, cloth wood, and paper, electrical equipment, and most commonly combustible and flammable liquids.

How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Last?

How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Last

In the hopes that a fire extinguisher is not used very often, or ever at all it may be important to know “do fire extinguishers expire?” Dealing with an old fire extinguisher can be a hazardous task, and each element of removal or replacement must be done extremely carefully and exactly by the guidelines. The truth is fire extinguishers don’t exactly come with an expiration date, however, there are many factors that will eventually appear over time, which should lead to disposable and replacement. A typical fire extinguisher would last about 5 years before beginning to decline and leaving you with the possibility that it may not work properly when needed. Over time, natural factors such as rust, damage, and corrosion can cause the fire extinguisher to not work properly and potentially cause more harm than good. Thus, you must learn what to do with expired fire extinguishers during disposal.

How Do Dispose of Fire Extinguisher?

So what do you do with old fire extinguishers? As you are dealing with a very strong and volatile piece of equipment, knowing the proper methods of fire extinguisher disposal is almost just as important as knowing how to use it. Fire extinguishers, if not disposed of properly can cause a lot of harm to our environment and planet in general and as we are already facing some major threats and consequences of global warming and climate change, this is not an additional factor we need. Fire extinguishers are classified as hazardous waste meaning they cannot simply be thrown into any bin near you. In fact, recycling fire extinguishers in their correct depart are almost essential.

Where to Dispose of Old Fire Extinguishers Near Me

Where to Dispose of Old Fire Extinguishers Near Me

Empty fire extinguishers should always be disposed of in the correct place and by following the safety protocol methods. Fie extinguishers should be taken to a larger household waste recycling center. Most areas have something like this in close proximity. Most councils will also ensure that the handle is securely taped together and held tightly by either duck tape or a pin. An empty fire extinguisher cannot be put into a household bin or even thrown into larger landfills. Fire extinguishers contain different substances, including :

  1. Powder
  2. Foam
  3. CO2
  4. Water

Each of these substances requires different disposal methods, which will be dealt with by professionals. This is because if handled or disposed of wrong, these substances could have detrimental effects on the environment, land up in our oceans and eventually be responsible for the death of many birds and marine life species.

Can You Throw Away Fire Extinguishers?

Disposing of fire extinguisher is a very delicate and equally dangerous task, in most cases the traditional person won’t really come across a situation in which they would be put into that position but in the rare case that you are here is the basic rule you will need to stick by. Firstly, do not throw a fire extinguisher, a heavy act like that could cause it to react and explode realizing harmful toxins into the atmosphere. Secondly, always handle with care and call the local council or authorities if you are unsure of what to do. Co2 and foam are extremely reactive and thus are really only for emergencies, coming into close contact with those substances can also be extremely harmful to your health and thus the correct disposal is even more important. Do your research, as this is the best way to find the nearest hazardous waste recycling center near you.

Facts About Fire Extinguishers That Can Help Saves Lives

fire extinguisher disposal

Of course, the old fire extinguisher disposal methods are an essential element of protecting our environment and the people around us, but also important is knowing what to do with them in case of emergencies. Some basic information about fire extinguishers that can be the defining factor between life and death include:

Know What Type of Fire

There are different types of fire extinguishers, they all contain different substances m, are needed in different situations, and require different types of handling needed for different types of fires. The main types of fires you can expect to come across include :

  • Class A – For trash, wood, cloth and paper
  • Class B – For gasoline, oil and paint
  • Class C – For electrical equipment and circuiting
  • Class D – For combustible metals
  • Class K – For cooking fire and grease started fires

An expiry of fire extinguishers are the same as having no fire extinguisher, and it should be checked every few months. There are 8 different types of fire extinguishers, each will have a symbol directing to which types of fire it should be used for (from A-K).

A lot of training is required before someone is allowed to use a fire extinguisher effectively. There is a trained method to using fire extinguishers known as PASS. P.A.S.S stands for:

  • P – pull the pin from the top of the extinguisher to activate it.
  • A – aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire to fight it.
  • S- Squeeze the handle slowly and aim at the fire.
  • S- Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire to effectively put it out.

As you can see, the fire extinguisher recycle and disposal process is not for the faint-hearted. It is very complicated and requires prior knowledge and research. When you are dealing with something that is not only hazardous but also harmful to the environment, the proper protocol must be followed in order to avoid larger-scale problems.

The bottom line and a very good outcome that is important to know is that fire extinguishers can be recycled, which means the product can be transformed into something else by reusing the metals and substances. This is a great thing for the sustainability of our planet but can only truly work if the recycling process is done correctly. Just one wrong item in any given recycling bin means that the whole bin will be wasted and can no longer be recycled, so be careful where you throw your rubbish, whether it be plastic bottles or fire extinguishers, every action can and will make a difference.

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