What to do with Fire Extinguishers
Fire Extinguisher Types
There are four basic types of fire extinguishers — dry chemical, water, carbon dioxide and halon — and each extinguisher works for specific fires based on its classification label. The classification label defines the fire types it is meant to douse. Classification labels include “A” for wood, paper and ordinary flammables, “B” for liquid flammables, such as greases, gasoline and oils, “C” for electrical fires, “D” for flammable metals, and “K” for commercial restaurants and cooking fires. Some extinguishers may have multiple label ratings.
Give it a Refill
Before disposing your extinguisher, see if you can refill it. No matter what the extinguisher was originally filled with, all fire extinguishers that are made entirely of metal can be refilled or recharged if necessary. Your local fire department will have information on how to refill and recharge in your area. There are also fire extinguisher recharging companies that can be found online. During recharging, the extinguisher gets the once over to ensure that it is in proper working order and meets the current requirements for fire extinguisher construction and operation.
The bodies of most fire extinguishers consist of steel, a recyclable material. If the extinguisher is empty, squeeze the trigger to ensure that the unit holds no pressure and remove the plastic top and trigger. Take the canister to any recycling facility that processes steel. If the extinguisher is full or partly full, your local fire company can safely discharge it for you. After removing the top, take it to a recycling center. Some fire companies even recycle the extinguisher for you.