Commercial Fire Extinguisher Requirements

By Bryan Ordman
Have your extinguisher professionally inspected on a monthly basis.

fire extinguisher image by Chris Roselli from Fotolia.com

Fire safety is a issue that must be taken seriously if you own or intend to own a commercial business. Fire extinguishers are required in every commercially owned building for fire protection. They are a fail-safe to help contain and eliminate the risk of fire spreading. There are different classes of extinguishers for different situations. Requirements are in place to help keep fire extinguishers conveniently and safely operable during the untimely crisis of a fire.

Class A Extinguishers

Class A fire extinguishers are for use in such areas as small offices, school classrooms and assembly halls. For this class, a fire extinguisher must be installed within 75 feet of any employee.

Class B Extinguishers

Class B fire extinguishers are used by businesses such as auto-repair shops, factories, warehouses or research facilities. At these locations, there must be an extinguisher in place within 50 feet of any employee.

Class C Extinguishers

Class C fire extinguishers are for businesses that are using any form of energized electrical equipment such as small appliances or power tools. This special extinguisher is used to prevent against possible electrical shock from a fire started from an electrical source. Class C extinguishers must be within 50 to 75 feet of all employees. The exact spacing requirement depends on the type of business.

Class D Extinguishers

This class of fire extinguisher is designed to combat fires that contain combustible metals such as magnesium or titanium. These extinguishers must be placed within 75 feet of any area containing regular creation by-product of combustible metals.

Class K Extinguishers

This class of extinguisher is meant to combat kitchen-related fires that are caused by products such as vegetable oil, cooking fats or grease by-product. Any commercial business that has an operational kitchen must have an extinguisher installed within 30 feet of the kitchen area.

Installation

All extinguishers should be mounted to the wall via brackets or specially made wall cabinets. The extinguisher's carrying handle should be 3 1/2 feet to 5 feet from the floor. Any large extinguishers should have the handle accessible no higher than 3 feet from the floor.

About the Author

Bryan Ordman is a film school graduate of Columbia College Chicago and has been working as a freelance writer since 2007. His primary focus while attending college was screenwriting. He has written in the past primarily as a film columnist but is now regular writer for eHow and Answerbag. Ordman obtained his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College Chicago in 2008.

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