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Bygg, Offshore

Fire extinguishers from offshore installations are reused

Not scrap metal

The story about the fire extinguishers starts far from Lørenskog, more precisely at AF Environmental Base Vats a few miles from Haugesund. At this facility, ships and offshore installations are dismantled and sorted for recycling. 

On these installations, there are a number of fire extinguishers that must be handled as part of the process of dismantling. Previously, fire extinguishers were treated as scrap metal. But at Miljø Norge, they thought it should be possible to use the extinguishers again, much in the same way as soda bottles used to be washed and reused. 

– This extinguisher looks brand new. Previously, it would have been emptied and sorted as scrap metal, says Janne Blaasvær, CMO at Miljø Norge. 


At the company’s production facility in Lier, she shows off a hand extinguisher that has expired. After ten years, fire extinguishers should be replaced, even if they have done nothing more than stand in a corner and have never been used. 

As good as new

Miljø Norge receives used fire extinguishers and gives them new life. In an automated production line, the extinguishers are first emptied of dry powder. The dry powder is stored and reused. The containers are checked for corrosion and damage, and all components are controlled and replaced if necessary. 

Then the devices are refilled with the original dry powder. Rods and handles are mounted together with new gaskets and O-rings, and the extinguishers are pressurized and tested before they are sent out to the market under the brand name Slåkke. The extinguishers look new, have at least as high quality as a new extinguisher and have a 10-year lifespan. 

– There are more than 150 different variants of fire extinguishers, so it has been challenging to achieve an efficient production line, says Janne Blaasvær. 

With better equipment and a larger network, the volume is about to increase sharply. By 2024, the company will reach an annual capacity of 350,000 extinguishers. 

Reduced carbon footprint

AF Offshore Decom is one of the companies that cooperates with Miljø Norge on the delivery of used fire extinguishers. After service and control, the products are sold, among other places, at Felleskjøpet, Jernia, Byggmakker and Ahlsell, and they are found in the cabins of the Norwegian Tourist Association and in the homes JM builds. 

By extending the lifespan of existing products, society’s climate footprint is reduced. Each fire extinguisher that is reused saves society emissions equivalent to 38 kg of CO2 equivalents, according to Miljø Norge. If you reuse a 6 kg extinguisher, you also save 4 kg of virgin steel. 

At Skårersletta MIDT, each of the 296 new apartments is equipped with a reused fire extinguisher. OBOS and AF Eiendom are behind the project, and AF Bygg Oslo builds the homes. Thus, AF Gruppen is involved in both ends of the value chain, both as a supplier and buyer of fire extinguishers. 

Circular solutions

AF Offshore Decom and AF Environmental Base Vats work continuously to improve how decommissioned ships and platforms from the North Sea are finally disposed of, says Johannes Thrane at AF Offshore Decom. 

– In our quest to create more circular solutions with lower climate impact, we have started several new initiatives. One of these initiatives is how old fire extinguishing devices from the North Sea can be reused instead of scrapped and recycled by melting. In close cooperation with AF Gruppen and Miljø Norge, we are proud to have managed to create a fully circular solution for such devices, says Thrane, who is Director Sustainability, Communication & Tendering. 


– Each of these initiatives is almost invisible in our waste accounts when several tens of thousands of tons are dismantled at AF Environmental Base Vats annually, but improvements in both climate and environmental accounts come from the sum of many such smaller initiatives on the way to a more sustainable society, says Thrane.