Condemned Fire Extinguishers


Distinguished Member
So, the other day a chap came around the communal office block I work in and slapped some "CONDEMNED" stickers on a few fire extinguishers. They are not in our office but outside in the communal areas etc... I notice they're still sat there with these stickers on.

What is happening with them, I assume they're dead/no longer work or not up to whatever kind of levels they should.

Shouldn't they be replaced ASAP and surely if they are condemned they should be removed immediately?

Anyone clued up on this / the law on it?
(I'm not going to complain to the place - just more curious than anything)


Distinguished Member


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Distinguished Member
I'm no expert, but condemned extinguishers are usually just that when they fall below the required charge level.
Or the safety pin has been removed or whatever.

Once they have been tested, they can't be left in use, even though they would probably still work perfectly (albeit for a shorter period than the standards allow).

Hence they'll be taken back, tested, and repaired/recharged/replaced asap (not sure on the law here, but it is probably "as soon as is practically possible" or similar.

Just guesswork :rolleyes:


Distinguished Member
Probably means they are now merely toys, to be played with.


When I was younger I was at a cousins house once and we had some kids chucking stuff over the fence down the bottom of the garden.

One of my older cousins went to his Dad's car (his Dad was a Taxi driver), got the fire extinguisher and hid by the fence. They came round and suprise! :devil:

Chased the little bastards off for good.


Well-known Member
i would imagine that someone will come back a replace all the ones he has condemed or needs to refill etc.
All fire extinguishers must be serviced & tested every three years, (atleast it used to be the case) this is usually by the original supplier through a maintenance agreement or another approved person/company. if the fire extinguisher fails the above it must be replaced immediately.

Now, i'm not sure if the guidelines have changed but common sense prevails here...I would inform the company health & safety, so he/she can take the appropriate action.



Distinguished Member
ok, i'll enter the geek zone....

Fire extinguishers should have a 'basic' serviced every year (give or take a month).
All extinguishers require a 'extended' service every 5 years
and a 'overhaul' service every 10.(its actually cheaper to provide new, rather than do the overhaul service)

The service standard is set to BS 5306 - code of practice for fire aid fire fighting equipment. There is a long list in the standard which if found during a service, the technician should mark it condemned. (Things like damaged to the cylinder, rust, handle not working correctly, even the cylinder not have a CE marking etc)

Pins missing, loss of charge are not elements that mean its condemned.

The actual law is just that any equipment provided must be maintained and maintained to accepted standards. Accepted standards is the British one...

/exits geek zone



Distinguished Member
Pins missing, loss of charge are not elements that mean its condemned.

So they actually have to be defective?

That's interesting, as I've been on a few building sites, where 6 month old extinguishers have been condemned for just those reasons :confused:

Mind you, thinking about it, that's been by site safety officers, who are probably trying to justify their job :devil:


Distinguished Member
Well they're still here, the woman on reception says she doesn't know what's happening but will email someone and see if they can sort it out :rolleyes:

I'm not bothered if the place burns down or anything but it seems a bit poor that nothing is happening with it...

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