Seeing fire extinguishers all over a commercial or residential property, you might make the assumption that you can toss them in the trash after using them. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
In fact, the improper disposal of fire extinguishers has a much wider-reaching effect than is often considered, as it has the potential to harm humans and the environment.
That’s why it’s important to learn how to dispose of fire extinguishers properly so that you don’t end up causing harm to the world around you.
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If you’re worried about this, then you’re in the right place. Read on for some of the guidelines to help you dispose of fire extinguishers in the right way, helping to ensure that you don’t cause harm to the environment or to people.
How to Dispose of Fire Extinguishers
When it comes time to dispose of your fire extinguisher, follow these simple steps.
First, read the label carefully to determine how to properly dispose of the extinguisher. Different extinguishers require different methods of disposal.
Then find an approved waste disposal facility that can handle the specific type of extinguisher. If you can’t find a facility, call your local fire department for guidance.
Finally, discharge the extinguisher according to the instructions on the label or in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations. Be sure to keep track of any special disposal requirements associated with your particular type of extinguisher.
Proper Handling of Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers should always be handled with care to avoid accidental discharge and injury. To avoid potential hazards:
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a fire extinguisher
- Do not use the fire extinguisher if it has a bent pin or if it does not release when pulled
- If the handle becomes locked, use an appropriate tool to unlock it
- Never aim the fire extinguisher at a person or animal
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The NFPA recommends storing an unused fire extinguisher in a safe place and then disposing of it in accordance with local regulations. In some cases, this means destroying the appliance; in others, it might mean recycling it.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Dispose of Your Fire Extinguishers Properly?
If you don’t properly dispose of your fire extinguishers, they can create dangerous chemical fumes. These fumes can cause serious burns if they’re inhaled, and they can also damage equipment and property if they’re released into the air.
Inhaling these fumes can also be fatal. If your fire extinguisher has a nozzle that releases a toxic gas, it’s important to dispose of it in a safe way. You can either throw it away in an open area, where the wind can capture it, or discharge its contents into a container filled with water.
Now you know how to dispose of fire extinguishers. There are a few ways to do this, depending on the type of fire extinguisher.
If it is a dry chemical extinguisher, the canister should be taken to a local recycling center. If it is a pressurized water or CO2 extinguisher, it should be taken to a local hazardous waste center.
If you want to read more about safety procedures and other useful topics like this, please check out the rest of our blogs today!
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