Fire extinguishers

  • This topic has 33 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by  kcal.
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  • Fire extinguishers
  • footflaps
    Member

    I bought a load a while back for the workshop / shed etc, as being at the end of the garden, 50m from the outside tap, it a power tool caught fire etc, I though they’d be quite handy…

    Anyway, many years have passed and I’m wondering – how long do they last?

    HSE requires work to bin them after 5 years (10 for CO2), but is that just H&S gone mad, or do they magically stop working after 5 years and a day…

    gobuchul
    Member

    That 5 year thing is a “recommendation”.

    Although they are not particularity expensive and it’s probably easier for a business to just replace.

    Do they have a pressure gauge? If not, how do you know they haven’t leaked slowly over time.

    They are in good condition and you can confirm they are still intact, I would keep them for about 10 years or so.

    I just bought 2 small 1kg DP ones for £9 in Lidl. Just for the house.

    footflaps
    Member

    Do they have a pressure gauge? If not, how do you know they haven’t leaked slowly over time.

    All do, except CO2. There is alos pin hole you can use to check the thing is actually working..

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    you can have them serviced / recharged ather than replaced – depends on the make and model a bit though as some are a bit use-and-bin.

    I bought a load

    How many is a load? 🙂

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    My local council ‘recycling centre’ won’t take fire extinguishers they say ‘refer to manufacturer/retailer’. I now have 3 or 4 out of date fire extinguishers in the garage from companies that no longer exist that I can’t dispose of.

    We have literally hundreds on site at work, which are operated from a third party, who’ll replace when the time limit is up.

    I’m fairly sure they’ll be inspected/refilled/whatever, rehashed and put back at stations for another 5 years.

    Extinguish on, soldier.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    I now have 3 or 4 out of date fire extinguishers in the garage from companies that no longer exist that I can’t dispose of.

    what’s in them?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    what’s in them?

    extinguishent.

    Errm, one dry powder, one water and one that was a FIA approved car extinguisher from a rally car.

    gobuchul
    Member

    what’s in them?

    This I guess.

    ABC Dry Chemical

    Didn’t realise it was now a big problem, sprayed plenty of it about at training schools.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Typically local authorities refuse extinguisher in the bin as they’re a hazard to the bin men – but the should accept them at recycling centres – shame yours doesn’t

    Water you can just discharge and put it in the scrap metal bin at the recycling centre – its now longer an extinguisher.

    Powder – find some sort of fabric bag / receptcle (tie a knot in the end of an old pair of trousers perhaps). Turn the extinguisher upside down and discharge it into the bag. Throw the bag in the bin and the extinguisher is now scrap as well. Keep the powder away from anything electric/electronic – they’re not reccomended for home use any more as the powder finds its way in to electrical goods,  attracts moisture and ruins them

    Foam can be more problematic as you mustnt let it reach a water course – it needs to go to a foul sewer – but you;’ll easily overwhelm your loo! Any company that offers to service extinguishers will take them away for a small fee though

    The FIA one…. stick it on Ebay – its ‘memorabilia”…. and someone else’s problem 🙂

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    cheers maccruiskeen

    Kuco
    Member

    If you can manage to unscrew them then the cylinder can just go in metal skip. Best to let them off though before attempting this.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Best to let them off though before attempting this.

    don’t listen to him he’s telling fibs. Powder ones should definitely be full and fully pressurised before you take the top off.

    Remember to take pics

    (lets face it – its been quiet here… we need another sudocreme cat thread)

    Saccades
    Member

    An annoyed mate discharged a 5kg dry powder extinguisher in my kitchen once.

    I’d be tempted to die rather than clean that up again.

    tjagain
    Member

    I have a halon extinguisher in my kitchen! It must be 20+ years old. the gauge still reads OK so I just keep it as it should work if needed. NO idea how i would get rid of it safely

    gobuchul
    Member

    I have a halon extinguisher in my kitchen! It must be 20+ years old. the gauge still reads OK so I just keep it as it should work if needed. NO idea how i would get rid of it safely

    Halon is a very effective fire extinguisher but are now illegal. It’s a really nasty CFC.

    You should take it for safe disposal.

    Disposal info here

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Halon 😳 that’s a blast from the past.

    been banned since 2003 ish. I’d be getting rid of that as ethically as I can asap. Before you melt the entire polar ice cap when discharging it.

    tjagain
    Member

    Ta for that gobuchal – I had assumed that once it had been manufactured the damage was done and the safest thing was just to keep it as any disposal would lead to it or some of it ending up in the air

    Ro5ey
    Member

    melt the entire polar ice cap when discharging it.

    That’s a lot of water … a bit extreme to put a chip pan fire ?

    gobuchul
    Member

    I had assumed that once it had been manufactured the damage was done and the safest thing was just to keep it as any disposal would lead to it or some of it ending up in the air

    The problem is that eventually the cylinder will begin to leak. I think that the disposal method “destroys” the halon and rids it of it’s ozone damaging properties.

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    I honestly can’t remember the last chip pan fire I went to. oven chips and smoke detectors are ruining my job

    tjagain
    Member

    Ta again gobuchal

    footflaps
    Member

    been banned since 2003 ish. I’d be getting rid of that as ethically as I can asap. Before you melt the entire polar ice cap when discharging it.

    Still widely used as a fire suppressant in the aviation industry. Pretty sure most Comms rooms in Africa still use Halon 1301 as well (although possibly the won’t be easy to refill anymore).

    Were they Kidde extinguishers footflaps? Might be on to some free replacements. Big product recall.

    https://www.kiddesafetyeurope.co.uk/Pages/Home.aspx

    Premier Icon jamesoz
    Subscriber

    I think the Yanks still use Halon. Not sure one little 2kg or whatever will make much difference.

    I’ve discharged it in the past. Was testing a Comms room Fire system that had been updated to FM200 (hfc227ea so still not great for the planet).
    I disconnected the FM200, hit the Manual release to test the firing pin and woosh, I moved quite quickly out of the Comms room.
    Turns out the guys that updated the system had only removed the Cylinders they could see and used the original cables.
    Made the old cylinders much lighter to remove.

    Pressure vessels over 10 years old should be hydrostatic tested. Realistically scrap in the case of portables and turned into tubeless inflaters.

    drnosh
    Member

    Tyco still making shed loads of FM200 cylinders.

    Filled on an automated line. Pretty impressive stuff.

    Reminds me, I will be passing their factory tomorrow on the way to Friday’s job.

    Premier Icon jamesoz
    Subscriber

    Plenty of FM200 about. Lots have gone over to inert gases though, which is great for Integrity testing verses Novec, esp as Comms rooms are getting smaller. Small rooms are a nightmare with Novec.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    CO2 ones make brilliant tubeless tyre inflator.

    globalti
    Member

    A fire extinguisher engineer once told me that the only reason for retiring dry powder extinguishers is that the powder settles over time and becomes a lump, which the gas can’t shift. So if every six months you shake it vigorously while banging it with a rubber mallet you’ve a fair chance that it will work when you need it.

    I used to work in a bike factory in Darlaston, which had a modern electrostatic paint spray booth and a conveyor curing oven. The electro-static bit had very sensitive spark detectors because of the high fire risk and if the fire alarm ever sounded, you had 30 seconds to evacuate the building before it would be flooded with CO2 unless somebody hit the override button. So every time the alarm sounded, which was several times a week, the entire workforce of about 100 would explode outwards towards the fire exits like squaddies whose mate has dropped a hand grenade. It was always a welcome little break from assembling crappy bikes for Brown Brothers, Edwardes and Vindec, whoever they were.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    CO2 ones make brilliant tubeless tyre inflator.

    you can also make dry ice with them 🙂

    Like Globalti says…if you gently upend the powder cylinder and can hear/feel the powder moving down to fill the void, its good. If it doesn’t shift then its likely to have compacted into a lump.

    I honestly can’t remember the last chip pan fire I went to. oven chips and smoke detectors are ruining my job

    That’s a very good point, neither can I?

    We used to service extinguishers ourselves on station, it was a pretty simple task.

    I use Co2 extinguishers for removing oxygen from my beer kegs before I fill them with beer. And for powering my home bar.

    Currently out of gas… anyone around Edinburgh got any old CO2 ones they want rid of? Can trade for beer!

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    Wasn’t so long ago I had a Halon extinguisher that sat in the car. Not sure how I ended getting it disposed of to be honest! Did it reasonably ethically I think.

    I also found a v old NATO standard extinguisher that my my dad had in the garage. Took a while to sort that out but IIRC a friendly RAF neighbour took it off my hands and took in to the base where it wa s- I assumed – disposed of.

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