Where to place fire extinguishers
Are your workplace fire extinguishers in the right place? According to the National Fire Protection Association, employers need to consider two key factors: accessibility and visibility.
Accessible: “Extinguishers should be placed where they are readily accessible in the event of a fire, which typically includes normal paths of travel.”
Visible: “If visual obstructions cannot be avoided, then arrows, lights or signs are needed to help indicate where a fire extinguisher is located.”
Then, depending on the weight of your extinguisher, NFPA has more placement guidelines.
If your extinguisher weighs more than 40 pounds:
- The top of the extinguisher can’t be more than 3.5 feet from the ground.
- The bottom of the extinguisher must be at least 4 inches off the ground.
If it weighs less than 40 pounds:
- The top of the extinguisher can’t be more than 5 feet from the ground.
- The bottom of extinguisher must be at least 4 inches off the ground.
In both cases, NPFA notes, “this includes extinguishers in cabinets, but it does not include wheeled extinguishers.”