How to Throw Away a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers contain gasses and other materials pressurized in order to expel quickly in the event of a fire. Because of the pressurized contents, fire extinguishers can explode causing injury or property damage if thrown into the regular garbage and eventually smashed or crushed. Some fire extinguishers contain chemicals that can cause environmental harm over time. To protect property, people and the environment, throw away old fire extinguishers properly.

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Dispose of fire extinguishers properly.

Step 1

Check your fire extinguisher's labeling to make sure it's disposable. Rechargeable fire extinguishers should be surrendered to a fire extinguisher recycling service or fire department to be recharged and resold if applicable, or properly recycled.

Step 2

Discharge the entire contents of the fire extinguisher into a waste receptacle.

Step 3

Unscrew the valve from the canister to disassemble the fire extinguisher. Discard the valve into the trash with the contents of the fire extinguisher.

Step 4

Contact your waste disposal company or fire department to ask about recycling the empty canister or selling it as scrap metal.