Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Fire Extinguishers And The Environment

Fire extinguishers are an item that many homes are required to have. In fact, there are some areas where home inspectors must check for at least one fire extinguisher in the home. If you are concerned with green living and the environment, there are a few things you should know about fire extinguishers that you probably do not. 

Swap Programs

The biggest issue with fire extinguishers is what to do when they are empty. Fire extinguishers are considered hazardous waste. This means they must be disposed of in a certain manner. In other words, they can not be thrown in the traditional trash. There are several ways to dispose of them, and one way you may not know about is using a swap program. These programs are generally operated by fire departments. You simply take in your used extinguisher and swap it for a filled one. Depending on the department there may be a small fee associated with the program. Some fire departments also offer membership plans that help sustain the swap program. 

Recycling Options

You may not know that there are several recycling plans across the country. These recycling programs allow you to dispose of your fire extinguisher safely. These programs are generally run by fire departments, as well as local hardware stores and other resellers of fire extinguishers. With the recycling program, you simply bring in the empty extinguisher and the recycling location will either take it for you or they will have a drop-off area for the extinguishers. This option does not allow you to swap for a new one or get a credit for a new one in most cases. However, it does ensure safe disposal and helps the environment in some way. 

Eco-Friendly Options

There are some extinguisher manufacturers that are working with scientists to develop eco-friendly options. These options are not available on the market, but it looks promising that they will be soon. The manufacturers looking into this are looking at ways to create everything from fully recyclable extinguishers to alternative chemicals that are not as harmful to the environment. For now, if you want an eco-friendly option, consider an extinguisher with a swap or take-back program. This will still help the environment and give you a safe disposal option. 

When you purchase your fire extinguishers, the first thing to look for is the disposal label. Make sure you have a disposal option in your area that is safe. If it is a refillable extinguisher, check with your local fire department. They may be able to refill the extinguisher for you or have a swap program.