Fire extinguishers are an essential requirement in every commercial building across the country. NFPA 10’s Chapter 6.2 outlines the guidelines for installation, placement, and maintenance of commercial fire extinguishers.
The rules and regulations may get overwhelming. However, it ensures that every commercial building in the country is adhering to proper fire safety and protection protocols.
If you’re wondering how many fire extinguishers your building needs, there are several considerations to keep in mind.
To make sure you are complying with the latest fire safety and protection codes, work with a trusted fire protection company. If you need help deciding on the correct number of commercial fire extinguishers you need for your building, please contact us today.
Classes of Commercial Fire Extinguishers
Before you procure commercial fire extinguishers, you must first know your fire risks. This way, you can decide what size and type of fire extinguishers you need to purchase.
You’ll also need to understand the correct fire extinguisher class. The class of fire extinguisher defines what type of fires they are built to extinguish. The fire classes are:
- Class A – This classification of fire is the most common. They include typical, combustible products, such as fabric, paper, wood, and plastic. Every commercial building is at risk for this class of fire.
- Class B – This classification of fire comprises of flammable gases or liquids such as oil, kerosene, gasoline, and propane.
- Class C – This classification of fire involves electrical wiring. The threat of electrocution and other electrical-wiring related incidents are high.
The best approach to ensure you are prepared to combat these classes of fires is to get ABC commercial fire extinguishers. These fire extinguishers have size ratings – which are shown with a figure in front of the letters. The higher the number is, the greater the extinguishing capability it the device has.
What Is Your Building’s Fire Hazard Level?
A fire hazard level is a gauge that determines the magnitude of fire risk in a building. This determines the proper placement and what size of commercial fire extinguishers you need.
Typically, fire hazard levels are cataloged as light, ordinary, and extra. Restaurants and commercial kitchens have their own fire hazard levels and fire class.
Light Fire Hazard Level
Hotels, schools, office buildings, and churches are under the light fire hazard level category. This means that these places typically have minimal or light fire risk. If there are Class A hazards, the commercial fire extinguishers must be at least 2A in size, with a distance of up to 75 feet between each device.
For Class B hazards, you must have 10B commercial fire extinguishers positioned with 50 feet or less between each one.
Ordinary Fire Hazard Level
Hardware stores, post offices, printing stores, dry cleaners, fabric and craft stores, and parking garages are some examples of facilities under the ordinary fire hazard level. There are plenty of flammable materials that are situated closely together in this type of place.
Commercial fire extinguishers 2A or larger in size can deal with class A hazards. The device must be separated up to 75 feet between each one. For Class B hazards, 20B fire extinguishers must be placed with a distance of 50 feet between each one.
Extra Fire Hazard Level
Plastic processing factories, furniture upholstering shops, die casting facilities, and assembly plants are some of the facilities under this category of fire hazard level. These commercial sites commonly have a massive quantity of flammable liquids, combustible materials, and ignition sources, putting them at risk of fire more than the usual.
Class A hazards must be dealt with commercial fire extinguishers 4A or bigger placed with 75 feet distance between each one throughout the building. Class B hazards must be dealt with 80B fire extinguishers placed with 50 feet distance between each one.
Restaurants and Commercial Kitchens
On top of having a commercial kitchen or restaurant fire suppression system, commercial kitchens must be equipped with Class K commercial fire extinguishers.
This type of extinguisher is specially designed to combat cooking fires. The extinguishers must be placed with 30 feet or less between each device.
Fire Protection Services
Does your commercial building need fire extinguishers or other fire protection services? We can help. Please reach out to us today.