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Do Fire Extinguishers Expire?

Do Fire Extinguishers expire

Do Fire Extinguishers Expire? How Long Do They Last?


OK, if you’re running a business, you probably already know that you ought to have fire safety equipment on your premises. And in most cases, this will include a fire extinguisher of one kind or another. But once you’ve got your equipment, what then? Is that it – will it last until you use it? Or do you have to replace fire extinguishers regularly? Do they have a use by date?

The difficulty with adhering to workplace fire safety legislation is that although you’ve got all the official documents to refer to, no one tells you the really basic stuff… Like, do fire extinguishers expire? That’s what we’re going to look at today.

Do Fire Extinguishers Have a Use By Date and Other Important Questions?


The short answer here, is ‘yes’. The long answer is a little more complicated. Fire extinguishers do not come with a fixed stated expiry date. This is because their lifespan depends on a number of factors: their condition; how and where they’ve been stored; and how well they’ve been maintained.

We’ve talked before about the importance of fire extinguisher maintenance. But you should be inspecting all of your fire extinguishers on a monthly basis, having them serviced annually, and arranging an extended service every five to 10 years, depending on the extinguisher type.

If you do all of these things, the chances are that your fire extinguishers will last anything between 10 and 20 years… This takes us on to the next point.


Hol old are your fire extinguishers


How do you know how old your fire extinguishers are?

Unless you were personally responsible for buying your fire extinguishers, you probably won’t have a clue how old they are. That’s why they are dated. The manufacturing date of every fire extinguisher can be found on the main body of the unit. Usually on the base or neck, sometimes on the centre of the body. Do not mistake the date on the silver head of the extinguisher for the manufacturing date, that only refers to that specific part.


How do you know if your fire extinguisher needs to be replaced?

Your monthly inspection should provide you with a good indication of the health of your fire extinguishers. If the pin, trigger, hose and instructions are intact, there are no dents or scratches, the pressure is correct and the extinguisher has not been used, it should be fine. But if you have any concerns, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional fire protection specialist. That way, you can be certain that you have the equipment you need, should you ever need it.


Fire extinguishers play an integral part in the safety of your business. Understanding how they work and how you should care for them is the first step to protecting your team, your customers and your assets.

If you would like tailored advice on your fire extinguishers, want to arrange maintenance for your fire extinguisher, or book a fire risk assessment then get in touch with 1st Class Fire Protection today either on 01603 742741 or request a call back with our expert team.

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