Can a Fire Extinguisher Explode?
August 15, 2023
Can fire extinguishers explode? Yes, it may explode under the right circumstances. Fire extinguishers are pressurized canisters containing either water or chemicals; if damaged, they can explode.
This usually happens when the canister is dropped or struck, damaging the extinguisher valve release system. Once that happens, the pressurized contents can leak out and explode.
There are other reasons why a fire extinguisher may explode. If you have a fire extinguisher at home or in your office or are planning to get one, keep reading.
We will discuss the proper storage and handling, how to protect you and your properties from the possible dangers of fire extinguishers, and what you should do if one explodes.
Causes of a Fire Extinguisher Explosion
Defective Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are pressurized cylinders containing chemicals released when the extinguisher is discharged. The pressure inside the cylinder can build up and cause the cylinder to rupture or explode if the safety valve is not functioning correctly. This can happen even if the fire extinguisher is not being used.
There are a few instances when you can say you have defective fire extinguishers.
- One instance is when the fire extinguisher is leaking.
- Another instance is when the pressure gauge on the fire extinguisher is not working correctly.
- Lastly, if the fire extinguisher does not discharge correctly, it is also considered defective.
If you have any issues with your fire extinguishers, it is best to get them replaced as soon as possible. Having functional fire extinguishers is key in keeping your home or business safe from fires.
Damaged Fire Extinguishers
A fire extinguisher is a significant device that can save lives in the event of a fire. However, did you know that a damaged fire extinguisher can actually be dangerous? If a fire extinguisher is damaged, it can explode and cause severe injury or even death.
If you have any damaged fire extinguishers on your property, you must get them replaced as soon as possible. Here are a few signs that you may have damaged fire extinguishers:
- There is visible physical damage to the fire extinguisher, such as dents, cracks, or corrosion.
- The pin or tamper seal is missing or broken.
- The fire extinguisher fails a pressure test.
- There is any sign that the fire extinguisher has been used.
There are many different reasons why a fire extinguisher might become damaged. One of the most common reasons is weathering or exposure to the elements.
Over time, intense heat and cold climate can damage the exterior of an extinguisher, making it more susceptible to being punctured or otherwise damaged.
Another common damage cause is physical impact, such as being dropped or knocked over. This can cause the seals and valves to become damaged, leading to the extinguisher not working correctly.
Improper Storage Of Fire Extinguishers
One of the most common causes of fire extinguisher explosions is improper storage. When fire extinguishers are not stored properly, they can become damaged or even rupture.
This can happen if the extinguisher is stored in a hot environment, such as an attic or garage.
It can also happen if the extinguisher is stored in a place where it can be exposed to direct sunlight.
If you are unsure how to store your fire extinguisher, check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Improper Handling of Fire Extinguishers
One of the most common causes of fire extinguisher explosions is improper handling. If you’re not careful, you can easily damage the extinguisher, which can cause it to malfunction.
Even if you don’t damage the extinguisher, improper handling can still lead to an explosion.
Always follow the instructions on the label, and if you’re not sure how to use the extinguisher, ask someone who does.
Fire Extinguisher Temperature Limits
The next thing to consider is the temperature limits of your fire extinguisher. Most fire extinguishers are designed to work between -30°F to 120°F.
However, you should check the specific temperature limits for your extinguisher model before using it.
Some models may have different operating temperatures, so it’s essential to be aware of this. The fire extinguisher may not work correctly or explode if the temperature exceeds the specified range.
Fire Extinguisher Time Limits
There are a few factors to consider when determining how often to replace your fire extinguisher.
The most crucial factor is the age of the unit. Most fire extinguishers have a lifespan of about 12 years.
However, if your extinguisher is exposed to extreme temperatures or sunlight, it may need to be replaced sooner.
Another factor to consider is the type of fire extinguisher you have. Water and chemical fire extinguishers should be replaced every five years, while carbon dioxide fire extinguishers only need to be replaced every ten years.
If you have old fire extinguishers, or if it’s time for a replacement, it’s better to get a new one for a fire emergency. Always check the label of your fire extinguisher for the factory limits to know the necessary precautions to deter unwanted consequences.
If you have questions about fire extinguisher time and maximum limits or replacement, feel free to contact your local fire department.
Fire Extinguisher Explosion Risks
It’s important to know that even though fire extinguishers are designed to help put out small fires, they can actually be quite dangerous.
One of the biggest dangers is that the canister can explode. This is especially true if the extinguisher is old or has been damaged.
When using a fire extinguisher, it’s essential to be aware of the risks. A fire extinguisher can do more harm than good if you’re not careful. Stay safe!
Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Extinguisher Explosion
There are a few things you can do to prevent fire extinguisher explosions.
- First, ensure the fire extinguisher is adequately maintained and serviced to function correctly.
- Second, never use a fire extinguisher that has been damaged or exposed to freezing temperatures or heat sources such as a hot car.
- Third, always point the nozzle away from yourself and others when operating the fire extinguisher.
- Finally, be sure to read the instructions on the fire extinguisher before using it.
Following these simple safety tips can help prevent a fire extinguisher from exploding.
If you have questions about fire extinguisher safety or need to schedule a service or maintenance appointment, please contact your local fire protection company.
They will be happy to assist you in ensuring that your home fire extinguishers are in good working order and ready to use in the event of a fire.
Complete Fire Extinguisher Inspections
As part of the safety tips for a fire extinguisher to be effective, it must be properly maintained and serviced. This means that a complete inspection for fire extinguisher discharges must be conducted at least once a year by a qualified technician, as specified in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard.
The inspection should include a check of the following:
- The fire extinguisher’s pressure gauge to ensure that it is within the proper operating range
- The fire extinguisher’s tamper seal and pin to make sure they are intact and have not been activated
- The fire extinguisher’s nozzle and hose for any damage or obstructions
- The fire extinguisher’s weight and mounting bracket to ensure they are securely in place
If these components are not in proper working order, the fire extinguisher will need to be serviced or replaced. By conducting a yearly inspection, you can be sure that your fire extinguisher will be ready to use in an emergency.