How Long Does a Fire Extinguisher Last? Learn How to Identify the Signs that your Fire Extinguisher Needs Replacing

Fire ExtinguisherFlorida State Fire Code requires that business and property owners check their fire extinguishers at least monthly to ensure they are still properly charged and ready for use.

Many business owners are not aware of this requirement. Your fire extinguishers should be inspected and serviced once a year by a certified company and then visually inspected every month.

Homeowners often purchase extinguishers and then leave them under the sink or out of site and don’t check them monthly to confirm there are no leaks or that the equipment is in good shape.

A general use ABC dry powder Fire Extinguisher should normally have a life of 12 years with a complete rebuild and recharge required after 6 years.

Extinguishers located in public areas and commercial properties are required to abide by these requirements, private residence units are not normally required to be inspected and certified although it would still be a good idea to have them checked regularly and recharged every 6 years too.

How Long Is a Fire Extinguisher Good for and How Much Material Can It Extinguish?

All Fire Extinguishers are one time use pieces of equipment and must be re-charged after each use, they should be refilled and recharged immediately after any use, they should always be checked monthly by the owner, and have the extinguisher inspected, serviced and certified annually by a state certified technician. As long as you apply these rules your extinguisher should be capable of lasting its intended lifetime and be ready to use in case og an emergency.

When visually checking your fire extinguisher make sure that you read the gauge correctly and that the extinguisher is fully charged, also check for damage to the safety pin , handle and nozzle.

If in doubt have a certified company check your extinguisher immediately.

Hopefully you will never need to use one but if you do have to you want to make sure it will work.


  1. I thought it was interesting to learn that you can actually have your fire extinguisher re-charged after use. I had always thought you just had to get a new one each time. Would you suggest having your extinguisher re-charged by the same supplier you purchased the extinguisher from? I’m curious to know since I’ve been contemplating getting one for the kitchen in my home.

  2. Good question John,
    Recharging (or refilling) of fire extinguishers can be done on most regular models and sizes ( there are some that are designed for one time use only, but not many)
    Depending on the size, quantity and type it is not always financially viable to recharge an extinguisher, it can sometimes be cheaper to just throw them away and get a new one but with most commercial grade models as long as there is no major damage to them it is worth recharging them rather than disposing of them.
    Yes your local professional fire extinguisher service provider should be able to complete any type of recharging for your equipment and advise you on whether it is cost efficient to do the service.

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