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Placement of Fire Extinguishers in the Workplace

What kind of fire extinguisher should I have at my warehouse? Is there a specific size required per square footage or the sort?
 
Is the extinguisher readily accessible in the event of a fire?
To avoid putting workers in danger, fire extinguishers should be located throughout the workplace and readily accessible in the event of a fire [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.157(c)]. You can usually find them in hallways, laundry rooms, meeting rooms, kitchens, mechanical/electrical rooms, and near exit   doors. 

Selection and placement 

If employees use portable fire extinguishers, they must be selected and positioned based on the potential type and size of fire that can occur [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.157(d)(1)]. The following guidelines will help you identify the number and types of portable fire extinguishers you should have.

Type of Fire Size and Spacing
Class A The National Fire Protection  Association (NFPA) recommends that locations such as offices, classrooms, and assembly halls that contain mainly Class A combustible materials have one 2-A  extinguisher for every 3,000 square feet. [Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers (NFPA 10 (2010), Table 6.2.1.1, Fire   Extinguisher Size and Placement for Class A Hazards)].

OSHA requires that all employees have access to an extinguisher within 75 feet travel-distance [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.157(d)(2)]. 

Note: Uniformly spaced standpipe systems or hose stations connected to a sprinkler system for emergency use can be used instead of Class A portable fire extinguishers, if they meet the  respective requirements of [OSHA 29 CFR   1910.158] or [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.159], provide total coverage of the area to be protected, and employees are trained at least annually in their use [OSHA 29   CFR 1910.157(d)(3)].

Class B Locations that contain Class B flammables, such as workshops, storage areas, research operations, garages, warehouses, or service and manufacturing areas requires that all employees have access to an extinguisher within 50 feet travel-distance [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.157(d)(4)].

Hazard

Extinguisher

Spacing

Light (Low) -   Small amounts of flammable liquids used for copy machines, art departments,   etc., that are stored safely and kept in closed containers. 5-B 30‘
10-B 50‘

Ordinary (Moderate) - The total amount of flammable liquids are present in greater amounts than expected under low-hazard locations. This can include garages, workshops, or support service areas. 10-B 30‘
20-B 50‘

Extra (High) -   Locations where flammable liquids are present and used in large quantities. This includes areas used for storage, production, woodworking (finishing), vehicle   repair, aircraft and boat servicing, or where painting, dipping, and coating,   operations are performed with flammable liquids.
                                               
40-B 30‘
80-B 50‘
(Adapted from Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, NFPA 10 (2010), Table 6.3.1.1, Fire Extinguisher Size and Placement for Class B Hazards)
                                               

Class C Class C extinguishers are required where energized electrical equipment is used. The extinguisher size and spacing is  based on its Class A or B hazard [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.157(d)(5)].

Class D Locations where combustible metal powders, flakes, shavings, or similarly sized materials are generated at least once every two weeks must install Class D portable fire extinguishers not more then 75 feet from the hazard [OSHA 29   CFR 1910.157(d)(6)].

Class K Locations where potential fire hazards from combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats) exist must install Class K extinguishers at a maximum travel distance of 30 feet. [NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers. See Section 6.6, Installations for Class K Hazards].

Fire Extinguisher on Bracket with height at carrying handle indicated at 3.5 and 5 feet. - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner‘s of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.
Installation

To prevent fire extinguishers from being moved or damaged, they should be mounted on  brackets or in wall cabinets with the carrying handle placed 3-1/2 to 5 feet   above the floor. Larger fire extinguishers need to be mounted at lower heights   with the carrying handle about 3 feet from the floor. 

Before installing any portable fire extinguisher, check the label to be sure it is approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.157(c)(2)]. 

Prohibited fire extinguishers 

The following types of portable fire extinguishers are considered dangerous and should not be used:
Old Extinguisher having a shell construction of copper or brass. - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner‘s of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials. 1. Any extinguisher having a shell   construction of copper or brass joined by soft solder and/or rivets;
2. Any extinguisher that must be turned upside   down to rupture a cartridge or to start an uncontrollable pressure generating   chemical reaction to expel the agent [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.157(c)(5)]. This includes:                                      
  • Soda acid                                             
  • Foam                                             
  • Water-cartridge                                             
  • Loaded stream cartridge
3. Extinguishers that use chlorobromomethane (Halon 1011) or carbon tetrachloride as an extinguishing agent. These agents are toxic   and carbon tetrachloride may cause cancer and can produce phosgene gas (used as   a chemical weapon during World War I) when used on electrical fires [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.157(c)(3)].
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