While fire extinguishers are an essential safety feature for any home, they don’t last forever. Units that have reached their expiration date should be replaced — but while buying a new fire extinguisher is easy enough, homeowners may be unsure what to do with the old one. Here are a few options.

Refilling an Empty Fire Extinguisher

Metal fire extinguishers can often be refilled or recharged. The extinguisher will need to be inspected to ensure that it works properly before it is refilled. Your local fire department should typically be able to direct you to a location where you can refill your fire extinguisher.

Disposing of an Unused Fire Extinguisher

If you need to dispose of a fire extinguisher that hasn’t been used, take it to a local fire company. They will discharge the unit, and can sometimes also handle recycling as well. If they cannot provide recycling services, contact your local waste disposal company or a recycling facility to get their guidelines for fire extinguisher disposal. The extinguisher will need to be completely discharged before you dispose of it.


By properly disposing of your old fire extinguisher and buying a new one for your home, you can have confidence that your family will be ready to face a potential fire. Having a working fire extinguisher on hand could make all the difference in preventing significant damage.