Fire Extinguishers - when need to replace?

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The hread about freon, etc. was very educational.
Brought up a question bothering me: How can one tell if FE is still OK?
Mine is a very old Kidde, big red puppy; A.B.C. Indicator is still in the green, albeit leaning toward the left (recharge).
Has never been used(thank goodness!)
However, I don't want to find out the hard way that it is over the hill.
Can I squeeze the lever a little, to see if it works? Don't hit me; I'm just ignorant!
The new ones that size range from $40+ on up. I'm not trying to nickel & dime my home's safety; just want to know if there's a way to test this. If the test shows it's still good, fine. If it shows no good, at least I know what to do, $$ notwithstanding.
Any help appreciated.
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote:

I take it to service center for annual check up. If needed they'll recharge it. Local code requirement.

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On Sunday, September 15, 2013 1:27:37 PM UTC-7, Tony Hwang wrote:

Thanks everybody. I should do SOMETHING because it's hard to believe that a FE literally DECADES old could still be good. But then what do I know?
Also, you-all are right about one is not enuff. Tx!
Kidde Web site says if in green still OK, but it's really old. No Help available on Kidde site. No local service listed. Not helpful site.
Trying to find general FE service center only one listed.
What do you mean by "local code requirement"? Who has this? Fire Department? Or City?
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Local city FD fireman come around house to house to check on smoke detectors, FE(if you do have one or more in the house) better have annual check up tag by certified sservice center. Law does not require you to have FE, but if you do, they want to make sure it is in good working order. If you are running a business, it is mandatory to have FE. I think it's good for the insurance coverage too.
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On Sunday, September 15, 2013 5:26:03 PM UTC-4, Tony Hwang wrote:

What nonsense. If that were true, there would be millions of illegal fire extinguishers out there.
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Hey, that's racially insensitive. They are "undocumented" fire extinguishers. Just cause they don't have paper work proving they are citizens, we can't call them illegal.
I bet you're racist, too? You want to talk about illegal RED fire extinguishers? Man, you need sensitivity training.
There ought to be a "Path to Citizenship" for undocumented fire extinguishers, so they can enjoy the benefits of US society.
The time is now! A call to action. Contact your Congressman, immediately.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/16/2013 8:44 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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On Monday, September 16, 2013 9:02:24 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

You're a funny guy!
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On 09/16/2013 08:44 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Commercial FE's need to be pressure tested and recharged (or replaced) every 6 years I believe. No requirement for private homes unless local code. But it is a good idea to keep an eye on them. Also with ABC (dry powder) types it is a good idea to move them around, turn upside down, whatever while inspecting them. I don't have any science to back this up but it makes sense that you don't want that powder settling/compacting, you want to keep it loose so that the FE will go off when you want it to.
Don't test the FE - just keep an eye on the gauge, and when it goes low, get it recharged or replace it depending on value of FE.
nate
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That would not surprise me in some cities. If not required and not one in the house, OK, but if one is in the house it has to have an inspection tag..
Sort of like where I worked. Most areas and jobs did not require a dusk mask. If you thought it might help keep dust out of you while doing a job, you had to get a documment stating it was not needed and you were just doing it to make you feel safer. However if you had a beard they would not give you that documment because they said it would not seal off your face correctly and you could not wear one even though it was not needed.
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On Monday, September 16, 2013 10:16:15 AM UTC-4, Ralph Mowery wrote:

I'd like to see any actual ordinance that says that. It would be 180 deg opposite public policy. People having a fire extinguisher is a good thing for the public. Tell them that if they go down to Walmart and buy a $20 extinguisher for the kitchen that they then have to have it inspected every year, most people would not buy one, which is the opposite of good policy.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

What is the point of buying one and not keeping it in good working order then? Do you as an owner have an ability to determine the FE will do it's job when needed? For me I always go 110% every thing on safety issues. Drilled into my head as a kid growing up and during my active career.
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Sounds like Trader thinks people don't want to be bothered by the official intrusions. I can agree.
I'd like all home owners to have at least three units, two in house and one for each vehicle, at minimum. Will that happen? Not likely.
Lot of things I'd like to see, but won't happen.
So, Tony. What kind of safety things you do, as a matter of routine? As for me, I've got a first aid kit at home, and one in each vehicle. The one in the Van is a $10 Walmart kit, the Blazer has a tool box with a lot of first aid stuff. I also have a Walmart ten dollar kit in the Blazer some where.
My tin box, sweet tin box, has both smoke and CO detectors. Which get alkaline batteries twice a year with clock change.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/16/2013 10:51 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

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On 9/16/2013 10:51 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Why have a cheap fe inspected when you can buy a new one for the same $$? The inspector is going to look at the gauge, the date of manufacture and look for corrosion or damage and send you on your way. Less $20 of course. I can do that for free
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On Monday, September 16, 2013 10:51:27 AM UTC-4, Tony Hwang wrote:

None of that has anything to do with showing us an ordinance that says if you have a fire extinguisher in your house, then it has to undergo yearly inspection. And it would be cheaper just throwing out the typical home fire extinguisher, than the cost of having an inspection done on it every year. If the typical home fire extinguisher is only good for a year or two and this is a real valid public safety issue, they why don't the manufacturers have an expiration date right on them? I'm betting that if the charge indicator is in the green, there is a 99% chance the thing is going to work. And any place that requires a yearly inspection of a fire extinguisher if you choose to have one has to be nuts, because it's just going to make 90% of people that would have an extinguisher say to hell with it. Plus it would be just about unenforceable.
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On 09/16/2013 12:05 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

ACtually that is the way it works for commercial, inspection every year then pressure test/recharge (or just replace) after six.
Now I have never heard of this being required for private residences... apartment/condo complexes undoubtedly, but only for the required ones in the hallways.
nate
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Put that under IRS and Obama care like everything else?
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/16/2013 12:05 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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On Sun, 15 Sep 2013 13:59:11 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

For a residence? Very few if any places require FE's for private homes.
The smallest ones ones are not worth recharging.

I think my small Kidde ABC was 10 or 15 years old when I needed it. Worked fine. Gauge had been in the green.
I took a pot off the stove and put it on a cloth pot holder. Later I put it back on the stove. Fortunately I sit at the kitchen table facing the sliding glass door. Looked in the window and eventually realized I was watching flames. The pot holder had stuck to the pot when I put the pot back on the stove. Wait. That's the one I stomped out. Very small by the time the cloth hit the floor.
The Kidde was for a fire in the oven. Worked fine. 10 or 15 years old. It would have been hard to test it without letting a lot out.
I'd buy a second one for the primary location and put this one in a secondary location, but after that, I'd rely on the green gauge.

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The one time I had to run for FE, I'd lit my lawn mower on fire. Gas, air, spark. And off it went. I'd just drained some gas out of the carb, to drain off any water. Pulled the spark plug and pull the rip cord to check for spark.
Well, I find out that I had air, gasoline, gas- air mix, and spark, all in the same place.
One of those moments where it all made sense, later, how that happened.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/15/2013 5:41 PM, micky wrote:

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On Sun, 15 Sep 2013 19:23:41 -0400, Stormin Mormon

I did something like that with my brother's car.
It wouldn't start, parked face first in a garage, going to be hard to jump the battery so I was trying to same battery time. Sprayed ether in the carb to help it start at the same time I used a jumper wire to crank the engine, with a spark plug wire off and a screwdriver in the connector to see if there was a spark.
The thing exploded in my face. But I didn't move a bit. Good thing or I would have driven the edge of the hood into the back my neck. Or banged my head on the inside of the hood. No injuries, no burns.
I was fine but the valve cover near me had lifted up from the head in 5 or 6 places, between bolts. A couple of the bolt holes in the valve cover were ripped open.
Maybe I should have tried the Ford dealer. Or I did and they had to order it. Ordering parts too much longer in those days (1973) and I couldn't tell my brother that his car wasn't ready. All I tried were auto-parts stores and they didn't sell original-quality valve covers. In NYC auto junk yards are far away, I think. I didn't know of any, still don't.
So I bought a pair of chrome valve covers, and only put on one of them. I'm glad my brother is an understanding guy. Especially since I didn't get his car started for him iirc.

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Yes, I can see the combination of ether and spark being a real blast. I'm glad you were not injured. Sorry to hear there was a lot of damage to the car.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/15/2013 8:04 PM, micky wrote:

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