In a carbon dioxide extinguisher, the carbon dioxide is kept in pressurized liquid form in the cylinder. When the container is opened, the carbon dioxide expands to form a gas in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide gas is heavier than oxygen, so it displaces the oxygen surrounding the burning fuel.
How does a fire extinguisher work to stop a fire?
Most fire extinguishers work by separating the fuel from the oxygen. The oxygen comes from the air. It is the same oxygen we breathe. Since the oxygen has to be in contact with the fuel, if you can coat the fuel with something that keeps the oxygen away, the fire will go out.
Do fire extinguishers expire?
Even if there’s no expiration date, it won’t last forever. Manufacturers say most extinguishers should work for 5 to 15 years, but you might not know if you got yours three years ago or 13. … If it falls anywhere else, the extinguisher is unreliable and should be serviced or replaced.
What happens to out of date fire extinguishers?
Broken or weakened seal around the neck of the extinguisher – this can result in the compressed air escaping, which will reduce the pressure in the extinguisher, meaning it will not work properly. Powder settling – the chemical powder can settle at the bottom of your extinguisher, getting packed into place.
What can you do with an out of date fire extinguisher?
If you are disposing one or two foam or powder extinguishers, then the easiest way to do this is to drop them off at your local recycling centre. Water or CO2 extinguishers can, as long as you follow our pointers below, be discharged by you and once the pressure and contents are released, they become scrap metal.