How To Dispose of Old Fire Extinguishers?

To safeguard our homes, we need all the assistance we can receive. Naturally, this also entails obtaining our fire extinguishers if a fire starts. In this manner, we may effectively put out any potential home fires. How are you going to dispose of the old fire extinguisher now? To dispose of it safely would be the obvious response to it. But how can an old fire extinguisher be disposed of properly? The general information you should be aware of properly disposing of your fire extinguisher is provided below.

How To Dispose of Old Fire Extinguishers?

Extinguishers are categorised as hazardous or harmful. As a result, you cannot and should not dispose of them in your bin of regular trash or recycling. Keep in mind that handling pressurised chemicals, such as fire extinguishers, can be dangerous, have to proceed with caution and follow correct disposal procedures.

Make sure to get in touch with your local fire department and ask whether you can drop off any expired fire extinguishers that are full or partially filled at the firehouse to be disposed of. What happens, though, if they reject those? Then you can go ahead and ask your local council if you can transport dangerous items, like fire extinguishers, to a nearby facility for disposing of hazardous garbage.

Domestic Fire Extinguishers

The simplest approach to dispose of domestic fire extinguishers is to drop them off at your neighbourhood waste recycling facility.

Domestic Fire Extinguishers

A common component found in many foam extinguishers, especially older models, is the fluor surfactant PFOA. There is evidence that this affect the environment over time (hence the nickname “forever chemicals”). Therefore, the contents must be disposed of using a licenced waste handler, and they must never be released unless there is a real fire emergency and the runoff can be contained and properly disposed of.

Water & CO2 Extinguishers

As long as you adhere to the guidelines below, you can discharge water or CO2 extinguishers, which turn into scrap metal after the pressure and contents are released.

Water extinguishers: They are the easiest to do because they can be discharged into an open drain.

CO2 extinguishers: They can be released outside in a wide-open area, where the gas will simply dissipate. But be sure to thoroughly read the accompanying caution

If CO2 extinguishers are not equipped with their frost-free horn, they can be highly dangerous to discharge. Never use a CO2 extinguisher without first ensuring that the pipe and horn are secure, as doing so increases the risk of catastrophic injury! Operating the discharge handle of the CO2 extinguisher without the horn installed results in a powerful recoil that has the potential to break bones.

Foam & Powder extinguishers

Foam extinguishers: They are much like water extinguishers, both need to be discharged carefully to prevent unintended contamination. Firefighting foams must be safely disposed of into a dirty sewer rather than groundwater or rainwater drains due to the dangerous compounds in them.

Powder extinguishers: Although powder extinguishers are no longer advised for use in homes, a sizable number of them can nevertheless be found there. Avoiding the trip to the recycling centre is possible by tipping a powder extinguisher on its head and emptying the contents of the dip tube into a fabric bag (for example, the leg of a pair of jeans with the end cut off; this will catch the majority of the powder while letting the pressurised air escape), but be aware that this can be messy! After that, you can properly dispose of the powder in your trash.

Foam & Powder extinguishers

Simply transport them to your local recycling centre for disposal of smaller-scale fire extinguishers, such as a household extinguisher or one or two from a small commercial location. Your extinguisher can be securely locked in a designated holding bin by the personnel here. They can be protected from potential robbers in this way.

Your old extinguisher can then be disassembled for scrap metal or recycled by outside organisations.

Whatever you do, avoid disposing of your fire extinguisher in a regular trash can. They can be recycled.

Business Fire Extinguishers

Old fire extinguishers on commercial property are typically maintained annually, and this is when they are most frequently replaced. Any old or expired extinguishers can typically be removed by the service engineer on site for a modest fee or as part of an existing servicing agreement.

Additionally, many specialised businesses are equipped to collect extinguishers in large quantities for recycling. This will frequently be the most affordable waste disposal option if you find yourself in possession of a lot of old or useless fire extinguishers.

You probably have a fire extinguisher servicing arrangement with an outside company if your business has a large collection of fire extinguishers. The company in question should provide exchange and disposal services for a minimal fee in addition to maintenance. If not, some national waste companies can provide rubbish removal services.

Tips for Disposing  or Storing of an Old Fire Extinguisher in Your Backyard

Tips for Disposing  or Storing of an Old Fire Extinguisher in Your Backyard

Regardless of the condition, all fire extinguishers must be properly disposed of. Then keep in mind these general pointers!

  • Always be aware of the location of your fire extinguishers. Having them readily available pays dividends whether you have one at home or many (for workplaces or businesses).
  • Put it (or them) in a position that is both safe and convenient for you to access.
  • First Understand how to properly use a fire extinguisher. If you want to learn more about how to use a fire extinguisher properly, look at the PASS term of fire extinguisher.
  • Using a fire extinguisher, check to see if everything is in order. Is there a blockage in the nozzle? Correct it right away.
  • Replace your fire extinguisher right away if you notice any rust. A registered fire extinguisher servicing organisation must also pressure test fire extinguishers if six years go by without using one.
  • When an emergency occurs, contact the appropriate authorities.


In conclusion, we like to say that if you dispose of a small number of fire extinguishers carefully, it is doable. However, if you have a large number, it is advisable to hire a specialist or rely on a reliable servicing business to dispose of your extinguishers.


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Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson
Certified Junk Clearance Professional at Express Waste Removals.