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How Many Fire Extinguishers Are Needed For A Commercial Building?

The number of fire extinguishers and the type of fire extinguishers you need in your New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, or Northern Delaware commercial building or restaurant depends on two main factors—the pre-defined hazard level of your building and its square footage. Building codes and OSHA Standards use these factors when determining the fire protection requirements for each structure.

The total number of fire extinguishers needed for a commercial building depends on the size and hazard level of the buildings. The classifications for hazard levels are as follows:

  • Light Fire Hazard –fire extinguishers no further than 75 feet apart
  • Ordinary Fire Hazard I – fire extinguishers every 75 feet
  • Ordinary Fire Hazard II – fire extinguishers 30 – 50 feet apart
  • Extra Fire Hazard – fire extinguishers 30 – 50 feet apart
  • Commercial Kitchens – fire extinguishers every 30 feet

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) determines the types of fire extinguishers needed for each building, and is responsible for ensuring their proper use and maintenance with inspections each month.

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Building Hazard Level Classifications

Light Fire Hazard – buildings are considered “light fire hazard” if the majority of materials in the rooms are not combustible and are not arranged in a way that the fire can spread rapidly. These types of buildings, such as offices, classrooms, churches, hotels, etc., have a lower fire risk. In these light hazard areas, the maximum distance to travel for a fire extinguisher should be no further than 75 feet.

Ordinary Fire Hazard I – buildings are said to be “ordinary hazard” if they present a slight, but not negligible, fire hazard. In these locations, such as fabric stores, there usually are a small amount of flammable liquids.  Therefore, fire extinguishers need to be placed every 75 feet.

Ordinary Fire Hazard II – these locations, such as a parking garages and hardware stores, house more flammable materials in closer proximity but are not considered extra hazard. However, depending on the location, the fire extinguishers should be placed either 30 feet or 50 feet from each other.

Extra Fire Hazard – in extra hazard occupancies, there is more of a hazard than what is considered “ordinary.” As a result, these locations may need larger extinguishers and should be either 30 feet or 50 feet from each other, depending on location.

Commercial Kitchens – since commercial kitchens involve combustible cooking fluids such as fats and oils, with a large amount heat due to cooking equipment and open flames, there should be a fire extinguisher accessible every 30 feet.

In order to make sure you have the proper type of fire extinguisher and the correct number of fire extinguishers in your commercial building or restaurant, always have a fire protection company come out to inspect the building.

For more information on fire protection and fire extinguisher use in New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, or Northern Delaware, call Confires today!

Category: Fire Extinguishers