Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if a fire extinguisher needs to be recharged or if it is full?

Manufacturers say most extinguishers should work for 5 to 15 years, but you might not know if you purchased it two years ago or ten years ago.  So how can you be sure it will work properly? We recommend checking the pressure gauge monthly to see if the needle is in the green, which means it is functioning properly.  If the needle falls in any other zone, it needs to be serviced, which means getting it recharged or replaced, depending on the age of the unit.  We recommend you have it checked by a certified inspection center like Swartz Fire & Safety.

Replace or service an extinguisher right away if it’s been used or if you notice any of the following:

  • The hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped, or blocked with debris.
  • The locking pin on the handle is missing or unsealed.
  • The handle is wobbly or broken.
  • The inspection sticker or hang tag, with a record of checkups and maintenance, is missing.

How do you dispose of a fire extinguisher?

Because they are filled with chemicals and kept under pressure, fire extinguishers can’t simply be thrown in the trash – you need to take certain steps to make sure it is safe.

Whether the fire extinguisher is empty or not, call Swartz Fire & Safety and the company can take your extinguisher and recharge it or replace it.  You can also take your fire extinguisher to your nearest hazardous waste disposal facility.

Where should we put fire extinguishers in our house?

It is recommended to have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home. Also, keep them in plain sight and no more than five feet above the floor. Do not put them in closets because that will cost you valuable time when you are reaching for it. And even though a fire extinguisher may not match your décor, do not put it behind curtains or drapes.

The most important places to have a fire extinguisher are in areas that are more susceptible to fire. These areas are the kitchen and the garage.

Kitchen: According to U.S. Fire Administration statistics, the kitchen is the place where fires most often start. If you have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, most grease fires can be contained. Do not put the fire extinguisher near the stove as it will be out of your reach if the fire is on the stovetop. You should not have to risk burns just to reach your extinguisher. Therefore, the best place to put the fire extinguisher is by the door of the kitchen so you have easy access to it.

Garage: It is a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in the garage because in most homes, this is the place we use as storage. Often, leftover paints, solvents, and building materials will be piled up without a second thought. Again, the best location to mount the fire extinguisher is by the door.