Are fire extinguishers dangerous? The best way to know is to check the tag. Fire extinguisher service tags let you know when your extinguisher had its last inspection and when your next test is due.  

Extinguishers that haven’t been maintained can be dangerous. If someone tries to use a faulty device during an emergency, they could be harmed. 

There are a number of other factors that can compromise the safety of your extinguisher. 

Read on to find out more. 

Are fire extinguishers toxic? 

Fire extinguisher powder and foam is supposed to be non-toxic. This does not mean there aren’t risks associated with usage. 

If you have to use a fire extinguisher, you need to make sure you use to right one. Putting the wrong substance on certain types of fires is very dangerous. You can find out more about the different types of fire extinguishers in our blog. 

Avoid breathing in the extinguishing agent. Some types of fire extinguishers can create hazardous breathing conditions. Try not to use an extinguisher in a confined space. If you cannot use the extinguisher safely, you need to call the fire service and leave it to the professionals. 

Luckily, we live in a country with a lot of resources, and faulty products are caught out before causing too much harm. In fact, there are toxic firefighting foam investigations being conducted right now in Auckland. 

Monitor the product recalls website to make sure your model of fire extinguisher is safe. 

How to Clean Up Fire Extinguisher Powder 

Are fire extinguishers dangerous? The chemicals left over by powder fire extinguishers can be an irritant to your lungs, eyes, and throat. The chemicals left over by foam fire extinguishers can be carcinogenic.

To make sure you stay safe while cleaning up, wear a dust mask, gloves, and goggles. 

You can use a vacuum cleaner to collect the powder and dispose of it in a sealed bag when you’re done. Afterwards, use a damp cloth to clean away residue. 

Soak up foam residue with paper towels then wash the area with water. Dispose of the paper towels in a sealed bag. 

Are fire extinguishers flammable? 

Quite the opposite. 

Fire extinguishers are used to extinguish flames. The only time this goes wrong is when the wrong type of extinguisher is being used. 

The outside of the fire extinguisher is designed to withstand very high temperatures so that they are safe to use on an open flame. 

Are fire extinguishers dangerous goods?

If you need to transport a fire extinguisher (shipping or air freight), you need to declare it as dangerous goods. This is because it is a cylinder containing compressed chemicals and there are risks associated with transporting this type of material. 

Do fire extinguishers last? 

Are fire extinguishers dangerous after a certain amount of time? Most extinguishers don’t have an expiry date. 

They do however require refills, pressure testing, and regular inspections to ensure they are safe to use. The pressure vessel needs a hydrostatic check every 5 years. Your extinguisher can have a long lifespan if you give it the attention it needs. 

At Jim’s Fire Safety, we offer fire extinguisher inspection services to businesses all around New Zealand. If you want to make sure your extinguisher isn’t dangerous, contact our team.

Call now or fill in the online form for a free quote. 

Contact Jim’s Fire Safety Today

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