Like cars, fire extinguishers often cost more than their initial investment.

While it can be tempting to buy a disposable fire extinguisher, it’s important to consider whether a refillable extinguisher will save you time and money in the long run, depending on your organisation’s needs and risks. Here are some important things to consider when choosing between rechargeable and disposable fire extinguishers:

What’s the difference?

Disposable extinguishers have a plastic valve, which renders them useless after the contents has escaped. This means you can only use them once. On the other hand, rechargeable extinguishers have a metal valve so they can be refilled by a professional fire maintenance expert and used again and again.

What are your fire risks?

While disposable products are cheaper at the initial purchase stage, they may be more expensive over the long run if multiple fire emergencies occur over the space of a few months or even years. It could be more cost-effective to refill a rechargeable product than to buy a new, disposable one each time there is a fire emergency, especially if fire emergencies happen regularly. Always think about the fire risks you have, the type of extinguisher suitable to your needs, and talk to a professional before purchasing any equipment.

What are your long and short term plans?

Always consider the future expansion plan for your business before deciding whether to invest in temporary, disposable equipment to last you the meantime or refillable extinguishers that last a long time. Are you planning on moving facilities or renovating? Do you suspect that your fire risks may change? With certain renovations or changes to your business, your risk in a certain part of the building will require changes to your equipment. For example, your extinguisher class may need to be updated from Class A– Ordinary Combustibles to:

  • Class B– Flammable liquids, if you have new hazards on site
  • Class C– Flammable gases, if your business begins using new chemicals
  • Class D– Combustible Metals, if you purchase new metal equipment
  • Class E– Electrical Equipment, if you purchase new computers or appliances
  • Class F– Cooking oils and fats, if you extend your premises to contain a kitchen

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What are the maintenance requirements? 

It’s crucial to remember that that refilling your fire extinguisher can only be done by a trained and certified professional. Here are some of the scenarios where your fire extinguisher will require refilling:

  • Maintenance tag has passed its refill date
  • The pressure on the extinguisher reaches a lower than satisfactory level
  • The extinguisher is damaged, and the pressure or operating capabilities are compromised
  • The extinguisher has leaked, or the metal has corroded due to humidity, moisture, dirt or dust or temperature changes
  • The extinguisher is used – even slightly or by accident. Any use can cause the extinguisher to lose its gas, and inhibit function.

Read more about fire equipment maintenance here

Not sure which kind of fire extinguisher suits your needs? Fire Equipment Online is here to help. Our team of highly-qualified experts will help find the most affordable and most well-suited solution for you, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.

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