Single-use gas monitors don’t last forever. Like a lot of devices, they have a usable life at which point they stop working as effectively. While your monitor might still turn on after its expiration date, it’s safest not to use it: there’s no room for error when it comes to gas detection monitors, which protect workers from dangerous atmospheric hazards that can cause long-term injury, illness, and death.
Your gas monitor will have a unique turn-on date that’s one year after its manufacturing date. This is also the date that your warranty is tied to. For BW monitors, that warranty is good for one year of shelf life plus two years after its activation. Even if you turn on the monitor past this turn-on date, you can still turn it on and use it, and as long as it’s starting up, displaying properly, and has a countdown on the screen, it’s working properly. You might experience battery drain if it’s not turned on in the proper time frame, and it might expire before then, but this is unlikely unless you’ve kept the monitor around for years without using it.
So what do you do with this gas monitor once it’s stopped working or it’s passed its few years of use? The safest option is to use the monitor within the listed timeframe and dispose of it after the factory warranty expires, but you can’t just throw it in the garbage. Gas monitors contain lithium batteries that cannot be mixed with solid waste streams as some jobsite waste can. Lithium batteries can cause fires at regular waste management and recycling facilities, and as a result, are considered hazardous waste. This is especially true if the battery in question is incompletely discharged, which they sometimes can be even if the device they’re in appears to stop working. Specialized recyclers or hazardous materials handlers are equipped with the equipment and knowledge to properly recycle lithium batteries, which means that you’ll need to take your old gas monitors to a qualified facility.
When you go to recycle your gas monitors, the monitors need to be dismantled and the lithium batteries removed. You can dispose of all gas monitors at your local E-Waste recycler; the batteries must be disposed of separately at a qualified facility. If you don’t have an E-Waste recycler nearby or you just want to send your monitors off, PK Safety customers can mail us their retired units for proper disposal.
For over 70 years, PK Safety has been your partner in workplace safety. Whether it’s carrying gas detection equipment that we’ve personally vetted or being available to answer your worksite questions, we’re here to support workers around the country. We can help you recycle old units, find and calibrate new ones, and maintain the ones you have. We’re a Factory Authorized Service Center for BW Honeywell gas monitors and have RKI and RAE factory trained certified technicians in-house. For more information on our gas detection calibration services, contact us by calling 800.829.9580 or using our convenient online form.