You May Need More Fire Extinguishers Than You Realize


Just as you’ll find with many things in business, there are the government-required number of fire extinguishers — and then you have the recommendations based on your particular business setup. Standard OSHA requirements are an excellent starting point, but they truly cannot replace the thoughtful review of a fire protection professional.

At AAA Fire Protection, we want to be sure your business and your customers are fully protected in the event of a fire emergency. Fire extinguishers are the first line of defense for your business, and having an adequate number of extinguishers placed strategically throughout your business may mean the difference between someone safely getting out of your building, or suffering catastrophic injuries. See why our pros say your business may benefit from more fire extinguishers than you think you need.

OSHA Requirements

Key OSHA requirements include placing a fire extinguisher no less than every 3,000 square feet of a business, with a travel distance between extinguishers of no greater than 100 feet. Each fire extinguisher must have a minimum 2A rating. This rating system was established by the government and help identify fire extinguishers by the uses and the relative effectiveness of the fire extinguishers.

  • The number in front of the letter “A” in Class A refers to the water equivalency rating, with each number roughly equal to 1.25 gallons of water. A Class 2A fire extinguisher provides the fire extinguishing equivalent of 2.5 gallons of water.
  • If a fire extinguisher is rated “Class C”, that means it is suitable for extinguishing a fire that includes energized electrical equipment — meaning the fire-extinguishing media must not be conductive.

You can read more about the relative fire safety ratings of handheld fire extinguishers on the OSHA website here and here.

Additional Requirements

There are additional requirements for multi-story buildings and areas where flammable liquid is stored. Multi-story buildings require a fire extinguisher rated 2A or higher to be placed on each floor near the stairs, at a minimum. Each of these fire extinguishers must be protected from freezing temperatures, too.

While fire extinguishers are often preferred, government requirements also allow for the equivalent ½-inch diameter hose line. However, the hose cannot be more than 100 feet long and must be equipped with a nozzle that is capable of discharging 5 gallons per minute. The hose must discharge a stream of at least 30 feet horizontally in order to be acceptable, and should be mounted on reels in such a way that streams can point in all directions.

Even if your business meets all of the above requirements for fire extinguishers, it’s important to have your fire protection equipment tested on a regular basis. The professionals at AAA Fire Protection will work closely with you to walk through your business and ensure that it fully meets state and local standards. They will also create a testing schedule that fits government regulations and the unique needs of your business. Contact AAA Fire Protection today at 855-356-0020, and see why they are trusted by so many businesses in Northern California.

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