Chubb Fire & Security has moved to remind end users about the dangers of illegally discarding or disposing of old fire extinguishers. The warning follows on from reports of an extinguisher exploding as it was crushed by a refuse lorry in London.
The portable Chubb Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguisher had been improperly disposed of in a household waste bin outside a block of flats. When the extinguisher was tipped into the back of the lorry and crushed, it duly exploded. Thankfully, according to reports no-one was injured.
“The consequences of this incident could have been much worse, even fatal,” said Richard Parker, portable fire extinguisher business lead at Chubb.
“CO2 extinguishers are perfectly safe when installed and maintained correctly, but like any high-pressure product they must be handled properly. Extinguishers like this will typically be safely removed for free by a service company and should never be disposed of as general waste.”
Chubb has provided more than one million CO2 extinguishers to businesses and homes across the UK that are used to fight fires involving electrical equipment by removing heat with a very cold discharge.
If regularly maintained, the typical lifespan of a CO2 extinguisher is about ten years. At that point, the extinguisher requires refurbishment of its cylinder and replacement of the valve.
Such procedures should be conducted in a certified establishment like Chubb’s National Distribution Centre, which is located in Birmingham.