My kids are getting old enough now that I’m starting to leave them at home alone more often. Just yesterday I went over fire safety with them which included having them locate the fire extiguisher. While showing it to them I noticed that it might be time to recharge it.
So it got me thinking where could I go to recharge a fire extinguisher?
It’s extremely important to keep your fire extinguisher charged and ready to go. Too many homeowners wait too long to do this and then find the device does not work in an emergency when they most need it.
Getting it recharged every six years, after you use it, or when the device gets damaged will keep it in good shape all the time.
Let’s take a look at the best places to recharge your fire extinguisher and explore when it is time to get this done on your device.
Where Should I Recharge My Fire Extinguisher?
The best places to go to recharge your fire extinguisher includes a certified fire equipment dealer or your local fire department. Both of these locations will have someone who can recharge your device, usually for a small fee, so it will work when you need it most.
Local Fire Department
Your local fire department may be able to help you recharge your fire extinguisher, but call ahead to see if you need to set up an appointment or if they have anyone qualified to do the work.
Fire Equipment Dealers
There are a few other places you can look to get your fire extinguisher recharged. A good place to start is to check online to see where the certified fire equipment dealers are in your area.
I did this and quickly found that many of the fire equipment dealers near me offer fire extinguisher inspection and maintenance services.
Remember that a recharge of your fire extinguisher will cost you between $15 to $25 each time. Some fire departments will do this for free.
Depending on what you originally paid for the extinguisher and the size of your product, you may want to consider just purchasing a new one if the cost is similar to the recharging cost.
This will help you get a brand new fire extinguisher that meets all of the regulations and will always work.
Although there are some extinguishers that you can recharge, this can be a dangerous thing to do if you do not have the right training. It is much better to use a trained professional to get this done to make sure everything seems safe and the right extinguishing agent is used in the process.
When Should I Recharge My Fire Extinguisher?
Now that we know where to go to get the fire extinguisher taken care of, it is important to know when to recharge the fire extinguisher. There are a few rules for this.
While most homeowners believe they only need to reload the extinguishers after they fully use it after a fire, this may not be the best rule of thumb to follow. In fact, there are times when you should recharge the fire extinguisher, even if you have never used it.
Some of the best times to recharge your fire extinguisher include:
After You Use It
Even if the extinguisher was just recharged, if you have used it at all, then take it in for a recharge. Using your extinguisher for a short amount of time will reduce how much pressure is in the product and can make it ineffective when there is a fire. You may only need to fill it up a little bit, but it is still important to fill up.
Every Six Years
Take a look at the date on your fire extinguisher. You should recharge it every six years from that date. This is true whether you use the extinguisher or not. When you do the recharge, this is a good time to get an inspection of all the internal parts to make sure they work well or determine if you need some replacement parts.
When the Device is Damaged
You should always recharge your fire extinguisher if it gets damaged. If you see any signs of damage on the product, even something as simple as rust, then you should have a recharge done to make sure it works.
Also, if there is a compromising instance with the product, such as dropping it, take the time to recharge it. These simple things can reduce how effective the extinguisher so it may not work the way that you want.
How Is My Fire Extinguisher Recharged?
Hiring a professional to recharge your fire extinguisher is always the best idea. They will have the right experience, training, and tools to do the task well. Some of the steps they use to take care of your device includes:
- Depressurize the cylinder to remove all of the extinguishing agent.
- They will detach the discharge valve from the cylinder and then they disassemble and clean the valve.
- The technician will take a visual inspection of the cylinder and check for any signs of damage.
- They will refill the cylinder with an extinguishing agent based on what the device will take.
- Then it is time to re-pressurize the unit until it reaches a full charge.
- There will then be a leak test to check out any problems with the device.
- The discharge hose or nozzle is put back in place.
- They will then weigh the device to make sure it is within the requirements for that specific device.
- They can then add on a new tamper seal to help you know whether it is in good shape and a new recharge tag is attached as well.
When all of this is done, you can then take the fire extinguisher home with you and put it in a safe place to use whenever there is a fire or an emergency.
It is always best to have someone else recharge your fire extinguisher. There are some how-to videos and tutorials online that can help, but taking it in can ensure that everything goes well and if there are any issues with the device that they will get fixed.
The best places to go to get your fire extinguisher recharged includes a certified fire extinguisher professional or even your local fire department. Getting this done on a regular basis or any time you use the device can help it be ready whenever you need it in an emergency.
While your at it, it might be a good time to make sure you have smoke detectors in all the right places and consider replacing the batteries in your existing smoke detectors.