University Safety and Assurances

Fire Extinguisher Placement

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

The number and placement of Fire Extinguishers are dictated by Chapter 10 of the National Fire Protection Association, Sub-Chapter 3 Distribution of Fire Extinguishers

3-1 General Requirements.

3-1.1*
The minimum number of fire extinguishers needed to protect a property shall be determined as outlined in this chapter. Frequently, additional extinguishers may be installed to provide more suitable protection. Fire extinguishers having ratings less than specified in Tables 3-2.1 and 3-3.1 may be installed provided they are not used in fulfilling the minimum protective requirements of this chapter.

3-1.2*
Fire extinguishers shall be provided for the protection of both the building structure, if combustible, and the occupancy hazards contained therein.

3-1.2.1
Required building protection shall be provided by fire extinguishers suitable for Class A fires.

3-1.2.2*
Occupancy hazard protection shall be provided by fire extinguishers suitable for such Class A, B, C, or D fire potentials as might be present.

3-1.2.3
Fire extinguishers provided for building protection may be considered also for the protection of occupancies having a Class A fire potential.

3-1.2.4
Combustible buildings having an occupancy hazard subject to Class B and/or Class C fires shall have a standard complement of Class A fire extinguishers for building protection, plus additional Class B and/or Class C fire extinguishers. Where fire extinguishers have more than one letter classification (such as 2-A:20-B:C), they may be considered to satisfy the requirements of each letter class.

3-1.3
Rooms or areas shall be classified generally as light (low) hazard, ordinary (moderate) hazard, or extra (high) hazard. Limited areas of greater or lesser hazard shall be protected as required.

3-1.4
On each floor level, the area protected and the travel distances shall be based on fire extinguishers installed in accordance with Tables 3-2.1 and 3-3.1.

3-2 Fire Extinguisher Size and Placement for Class A Hazards.

3-2.1
Minimal sizes of fire extinguishers for the listed grades of hazards shall be provided on the basis of Table 3-2.1 except as modified by 3-2.2. Fire extinguishers shall be located so that the maximum travel distances shall not exceed those specified in Table 3-2.1, except as modified by 3-2.2. (See Appendix E.) Table 3-2.1

  Light Ordinary (Low) Hazard Occupancy (Moderate) Hazard Occupancy Extra (High) Hazard
Minimum rated single extinguisher
2-A***
2-A***
4-A*
Maximum floor area per unit of A
3,000 sq ft
1,500 sq ft
1,500 sq ft
Maximum floor area for extinguisher
11,250 sq ft **
11,250 sq ft **
11,250 sq ft **
Maximum travel distance to extinguisher
75 ft
75 ft
75 ft

*Two 21/2-gal (9.46-L) water-type extinguishers can be used to fulfill the requirements of one 4-A rated extinguisher.
**See Appendix E-3-3.
***Up to two water type extinguishers each with 1-A rating can be used to fulfill the requirements of one 2-A rated extinguisher for Light (Low) Hazard Occupancies. For SI Units: 1 ft = 0.305 m; 1 sq ft = 0.0929 m2

3-2.1.1
Certain smaller fire extinguishers that are charged with multipurpose dry chemical, Halon 1211, or Halon 1211/1301 are rated on Class B and Class C fires, but have insufficient effectiveness to earn the minimum 1-A rating even though they have value in extinguishing smaller Class A fires. They shall not be used to meet the requirements of 3-2.1.

3-2.2
Up to one-half of the complement of fire extinguishers as specified in Table 3-2.1 may be replaced by uniformly spaced 11/2-in. (3.81-cm) hose stations for use by the occupants of the building. Where hose stations are so provided, they shall conform to NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems. The location of hose stations and the placement of fire extinguishers shall be such that the hose stations do not replace more than every other fire extinguisher.

3-2.3
Where the area of the floor of a building is less than that specified in Table 3-2.1, at least one fire extinguisher of the minimum size recommended shall be provided.

3-2.4
The protection requirements may be fulfilled with fire extinguishers of higher rating provided the travel distance to such larger fire extinguishers shall not exceed 75 ft (22.7 m).

3-3 Fire Extinguisher Size and Placement for Class B Fires Other than for Fires in Flammable Liquids of Appreciable Depth.

NOTE: Flammable liquids of appreciable depth are those with a depth greater than 1/4 in. (0.64 cm).

3-3.1
Minimal sizes of fire extinguishers for the listed grades of hazard shall be provided on the basis of Table 3-3.1. Fire extinguishers shall be located so that the maximum travel distances shall not exceed those specified in the table used. (See Appendix E.) Exception: Fire extinguishers of lesser rating, desired for small specific hazards within the general hazard area, may be used, but shall not be considered as fulfilling any part of the requirements of Table 3-3.1.

Table 3-3.1

Type of Hazard Basic Minimum Extinguisher Rating Maximum Travel Distance To Extinguisher
Light (low)
5-B
10-B
30 ft
50 ft
Ordinary (Moderate)
10-B
20-B
30 ft.
50 ft
Extra (High)
40-B
80-B
30 ft
50 ft

NOTE 1: The specified ratings do not imply that fires of the magnitudes indicated by these ratings will occur, but rather to give the operators more time and agent to handle difficult spill fires that may occur.

NOTE 2: For fires involving water-soluble flammable liquids, see 2-3.4.

NOTE 3: For specific hazard applications, see Section 2-3.

3-3.2
Two or more fire extinguishers of lower rating shall not be used to fulfill the protection requirements of Table 3-3.1. Exception No. 1: Up to three AFFF or FFFP fire extinguishers of at least 21/2-gal (9.46-L) capacity may be used to fulfill extra (high) hazard requirements.

Exception No. 2: Two AFFF or FFFP fire extinguishers of at least 11/2-gal (6-L) capacity may be used to fulfill ordinary (moderate) hazard requirements.

3-3.3
The protection requirements may be fulfilled with fire extinguishers of higher ratings provided the travel distance to such larger fire extinguishers shall not exceed 50 ft (15.25 m).

3-4 Fire Extinguisher Size and Placement for Class B Fires in Flammable Liquids of Appreciable Depth.

NOTE: Flammable liquids of appreciable depth are those with a depth greater than 1/4 in. (0.64 cm).

3-4.1*
Portable fire extinguishers shall not be installed as the sole protection for flammable liquid hazards of appreciable depth where the surface area exceeds 10 sq ft (0.93 m2). Exception: Where personnel who are trained in extinguishing fires in the protected hazards, or their counterparts, are available on the premises, the maximum surface area shall not exceed 20 sq ft (1.86 m2).

3-4.2
For flammable liquid hazards of appreciable depth, a Class B fire extinguisher shall be provided on the basis of at least 2 numerical units of Class B extinguishing potential per sq ft (0.0929 m2) of flammable liquid surface of the largest hazard area. (For fires involving cooking grease or water soluble flammable liquids, see 2-3.2 and 2-3.4.) Exception: AFFF- or FFFP-type fire extinguishers may be provided on the basis of 1-B of protection per sq ft of hazard.

3-4.3
Two or more fire extinguishers of lower ratings shall not be used in lieu of the fire extinguisher required for the largest hazard area. Exception: Up to three AFFF or FFFP fire extinguishers may be used to fulfill the requirements provided the sum of the Class B ratings meets or exceeds the value required for the largest hazard area.

3-4.4
Travel distances for portable fire extinguishers shall not exceed 50 ft (15.25 m). (See Appendix E.)

3-4.4.1
Scattered or widely separated hazards shall be individually protected. An fire extinguisher in the proximity of a hazard shall be carefully located to be accessible in the presence of a fire without undue danger to the operator.

3-5 Fire Extinguisher Size and Placement for Class C Hazards.

Fire extinguishers with Class C ratings shall be required where energized electrical equipment may be encountered that would require a nonconducting extinguishing medium. This includes fire either directly involving or surrounding electrical equipment. Since the fire itself is a Class A or Class B hazard, the fire extinguishers shall be sized and located on the basis of the anticipated Class A or B hazard. NOTE: Electrical equipment should be de-energized as soon as possible to prevent reignition.

3-6 Fire Extinguisher Size and Placement for Class D Hazards.

3-6.1
Fire extinguishers or extinguishing agents with Class D ratings shall be provided for fires involving combustible metals.

3-6.2
Fire extinguishers or extinguishing agents (media) shall be located not more than 75 ft (23 m) travel distance from the Class D hazard. (See Appendix E-6.)

3-6.3
Portable fire extinguishers or extinguishing agents (media) for Class D hazards shall be provided in those work areas where combustible metal powders, flakes, shavings, chips, or similarly sized products are generated.

3-6.4
Size determination shall be on the basis of the specific combustible metal, its physical particle size, area to be covered, and recommendations by the fire extinguisher manufacturer on data from control tests conducted.