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Fire extinguisher refurbishment, is it worth it.


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Hi,

I work for a sustainable energy company (offshore wind turbines) and this year we have exchanged 108 6kg dry powder extinguishers as they have hit the 5 year date.

We pay around £50 for new ones, but are thinking about possible recharging,

1. To save money 2. Recycling is good for the environment

As someone with no knowledge of recharging, what is everyone's thoughts, what sort of cost is it to recharge a dry powder extinguisher.

We also have a similar number of 6kg CO2 extinguishers, and they are changed every 10 years.

Thanks.

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Hi PaulRob, you could consider Britannia P50 service-free extinguishers which only get re-filled every ten years, which would halve your powder waste. Instead of annually calling in an external engineer your own employees would carry out an annual visual inspection, which is recorded on the back of the extinguisher. The visual inspection involves checking the dual gauge display and in your case nothing else, as there is no risk of vandalism in your company. We would be happy to give you a demonstration and visit one of your sites with you to talk through the P50. More information about the P50 extinguishers.

Harry, Safelincs Ltd

 

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The CO2 extinguishers can be overhauled at 10 years where they have the cylinder pressure tested and a new valve & dip tube fitted and then refilled - giving the unit 10 more years.

Far cheaper than new (especially with the 5kg size, the cost difference between overhaul & new is far wider than with the 2kg) and far better for the environment as the carbon footprint of new extinguishers is awful considering the use of virgin raw materials and transport from China or (to a far lesser extent) Poland.

The powders can be extended serviced and refilled too, although the cost saving is far less and it's more environmental benefit than anything, mainly because the powder has to be replaced. In most other countries (especially the US) the powder is removed using a closed circuit vacuum pump & hopper and if OK re-used meaning it is a fraction of the cost to keep in use for another 6 years (their refill interval)

Cheap imports and lack of training mean many fire related firms 'box shift' and scrap perfectly good extinguishers at 5/10 years - when I started with extinguishers the idea of replacing at discharge test would have rendered you a laughing stock and 25 years wasn't unheard of for service life.

The P50 is a good middle ground as you get 20 years out of them and they are 99% recyclable.

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