Do you have enough fire extinguishers in your workplace to be up to code and are they located in areas that increase the safety those inside? That depends on two factors – the square footage of your building and its pre-defined hazard level. According to building codes and OSHA standards, these factors are used when determining the fire protection requirements for a structure.
The size and layout of a room determines the number of fire extinguishers required in a workplace. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires that there should be no more than 75 feet between fire extinguishers. The square footage of your building and its layout will dictate how many extinguishers are required.
The classifications for hazard levels are as follows:
- Light Fire Hazard – The majority of the materials in the rooms are not combustible and are arranged in a way that prevents a fire from spreading rapidly. Examples would be like office buildings, churches, schools, or hotels which have a low fire risk. Fire extinguishers are no further than 75 feet apart.
- Ordinary Fire Hazard I – These buildings have a slight fire hazard, such as a small amount of flammable liquids. A fabric store would be a good example. Fire extinguishers need to be placed every 75 feet.
- Ordinary Fire Hazard II – Buildings where flammable materials are in closer proximity to each other but aren’t considered extra hazardous. Hardware stores or parking garages are examples. Fire extinguishers are 30 – 50 feet apart.
- Extra Fire Hazard – These buildings have more of a hazard than what is considered “ordinary”. Fire extinguishers are larger and 30 – 50 feet apart.
- Commercial Kitchens – Because combustible cooking oils and fats are used on cooking equipment and open flames with a large amount of heat, fire extinguishers are placed every 30 feet.
The NFPA determines the types of fire extinguishers needed for each building and is responsible for ensuring their proper use and maintenance with inspections each month.
Call Fire Control Systems today to come out and inspect your building to ensure you have the proper type of fire extinguisher and the correct number of fire extinguishers in your workplace.