to place fire extinguishers
avoid putting workers in danger, fire extinguishers
should be located throughout the workplace and readily
accessible in the event of a fire. 1910.157(c)
You can usually find them in hallways, laundry rooms,
meeting rooms, kitchens, mechanical/electrical rooms,
and near exit doors.
employees use portable fire extinguishers, they
must be selected and positioned based on the potential
type and size of fire that can occur. 1910.157(d)(1)
The following guidelines will help you identify
the number and types of portable fire extinguishers
you should have.
such as offices, classrooms, and assembly
halls that contain mainly Class A combustible
materials should have one 2-A extinguisher
for every 3,000 square feet, with no more
than 75 feet between extinguishers. 1910.157(d)(2)
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 1910.158
provide total coverage of the area to be protected,
and employees are trained at least annually
in their use. 1910.157(d)(3)
that contain Class B flammables, such as workshops,
storage areas, research operations, garages,
warehouses, or service and manufacturing areas,
must size and space their extinguishers based
on the degree of hazard associated with the
flammable liquids and gases in the area:1910.157(d)(4)
- Small amounts of flammable liquids
used for copy machines, art departments,
etc., that are stored safely and kept
in closed containers.
- 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.
- 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
C extinguishers are required where energized
electrical equipment is used. The extinguisher
size and spacing is based on its Class A or
B hazard. 1910.157(d)(5)
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. 1910.157(d)(6)
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
such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or Factory
Mutual (FM). 1910.157(c)(2)
following types of portable fire extinguishers
are considered dangerous and should not be
extinguisher having a shell construction of
copper or brass joined by soft solder and/or
that must be turned upside down to rupture
a cartridge or to start an uncontrollable
pressure generating chemical reaction to expel
the agent. 1910.157(c)(5)
- Soda acid
- Loaded stream cartridge
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. 1910.157(c)(3)
maintenance and inspections of your portable fire
extinguishers will provide assurance that they will
operate effectively and safely if they are needed.
Inspect all extinguishers
at least once a month. Use the following checklist
as a guide.
each extinguisher in its designated place,
clearly visible, and not blocked by equipment,
coats or other objects that could interfere
with access during an emergency?
the nameplate with operating instructions
legible and facing outward?
the pressure gauge showing that the extinguisher
is fully charged (the needle should be in
the green zone)?
the pin and tamper seal intact?
the extinguisher in good condition and showing
no signs of physical damage, corrosion, or
all dry powder extinguishers been gently rocked
top to bottom to make sure the powder is not
If you did not answer
yes to all of these questions, have the extinguisher
fixed or replaced immediately!