The following rules apply to the storage life of fire extinguishers:
- Fire extinguishers used in buildings (typically all powder extinguishers of 3kg or more and all other types of fire extinguishers) are required by law to be replaced 20 years after the date of manufacture. The production date is either printed on a plastic ring around the neck of the fire extinguisher, or it is printed on the fire extinguishing handle (under the plastic foot of the fire extinguisher or elsewhere). In practice, pressure-stored fire extinguishers must be replaced after 10 years, because they have to undergo a (very expensive) retest. Cartridge-operated fire extinguishers, which are not under constant pressure, do have a lifespan of 20 years. Read more about the difference between pressure-stored extinguishers cartridge-operated ones.
- Fire extinguishers used in cars (and that have a BENOR V label) need to be replaced after 5 years. The expiry date is always clearly indicated on the label of the fire extinguisher.
Fire extinguishers that you use in a professional context or in communal areas of apartments do require annual maintenance or inspection.