Proper Extinguisher Placement for a Variety of Different Hazards

Posted on: July 7, 2017

Know the details about when and where your business needs prominently displayed fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguishers are the first line of defense in the case of a sudden fire, helping to contain a blaze before fire personnel can arrive on the scene. In this blog we’ll be highlighting a few common examples of extinguisher placement in a variety of hazardous environments. Keep in mind that this list is not all encompassing, and if you have any questions about extinguisher placement for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to LifeSafety Management today.

Gas stations: fuel processing and storage of flammable materials

Just over 5,000 fires and explosions occurred at public gas stations each year from 2004-2008. This means that on average, one out of every 13 stations experienced a fire during this time period. The need to comply with code is pretty obvious.

In the state of Florida, our primary regulatory guidelines and agencies are the Florida Fire Prevention Code (FFPC) and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Section 30A of the NFPA specifically rates a gas station as an extra high hazard that requires a minimum extinguisher rating of 40BC.

Auto repair centers with flammable liquid storage

Because many auto repair centers store flammable liquids, these establishments must also abide by strict guidelines from the NFPA 10, where the maximum distance one would have to travel to access a fire extinguisher is 50 feet.

General office hazards

Gas stations and other businesses with obviously flammable inventory aren’t the only candidates for fire safety, however. Everyday office environments pose risks that require the right fire extinguisher and proper placement. For examples:

  • IT server rooms – Because of the sensitive equipment found in IT server rooms, clean agent extinguishers that won’t destroy the servers are required. These units are “electrically nonconductive,” and therefore do not leave any type of residue after evaporation.
  • Break rooms – Because of the risk of fire in break rooms with toaster ovens or microwaves, 2A10BC ABC dry chemical extinguishers, which can be used on Class A, B, or C fires, are the right equipment.

Airports: fuel processing and storage of flammable liquids

Similar to service stations, the fuel processing and storage of flammable liquids at airports can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) outlines a variety of requirements in accordance with those outlined in NFPA 10, to help promote safety for airline passengers and employees:

  • Fire extinguishers are required on all aircraft fuel-servicing carts or vehicles.
  • Each aircraft fuel-servicing tank vehicle must have two fire extinguishers.

o One must be physically mounted on the side of the vehicle

o Both extinguishers must have a rating of at least 20-B:C

  • Hydrant fuel-servicing carts or vehicles must have one fire extinguisher with a rating of 20-B:C, at a minimum.

Machine shops that deal with burning metals

According to NPFA 10, fires in machine shops that deal with burning metals fall into Class D, because they could occur due to the presence of combustible materials such as titanium, zirconium, magnesium, lithium, sodium, and potassium. In these instances, Class D fire extinguishers must be present no more than 75 feet from the hazard.

Unclear about fire extinguisher placement in your business?

If you’re unclear about the type of fire extinguisher you may need at your Florida business, it’s important to keep in mind that the 2A10BC fire extinguisher is the minimum for all municipalities in Florida except Boca Raton, where the minimum is 4A60BC.

But keep in mind: depending on the type of business that you operate, you could fall into one of the above examples where you have a unique hazardous environment that needs different fire protection. If you have any questions about the NPFA 10 or the Florida Fire Prevention Code, the professionals at LifeSafety Management would be happy to help. We offer a free commercial security consultation to ensure that you’re staying in compliance with both state and national regulations. To contact our team of fire safety experts, call us today at (800) 330-1158 or reach us via our online contact form.