Businesses are mandated to make employee safety a priority. As such, they are recommended to have well-maintained fire extinguishers, fully serviced smoke detectors and fire alarms installed, as well as a fire prevention plan on hand.
Where fire extinguishers are concerned, where you store them is extremely important. Easy access to fire extinguishers can help stop fires before they turn into bigger blazes.
That’s why in this post, we’re going to address the following issues:
· Where should fire extinguishers be stored?
· How should fire extinguishers be stored?
· Fire extinguisher storage best tips
Best Places to Store Your Commercial Fire Extinguisher
So, where should you store your commercial fire extinguishers?
Canada’s National Fire Code 2015, which approves of the recommendations made by the National Fire Protection Association, affirms that:
When stored mounted to a wall, fire extinguishers should be at least 10 cm (4 inches) from the floor (but no more than 1.52m/5feet above the ground)
Secondly, they are to be stored in a place where they are easily accessible and visible to all.
The general recommendation for the number of fire extinguishers to a floor/office is one per floor.
And this extinguisher is to be kept as close as possible to the potential fire hazards identified in the company’s fire prevention plan.
Summarized we would say that the chosen storage spot should be visible, easy to reach within 6 seconds of a fire breaking out, and easy to remember.
With that said, here are locations around the office that make good places to mount a fire extinguisher:
1. Near the Kitchen
If you have a kitchen within your office space, having a fire extinguisher nearby is a good idea seeing as most fires begin in the kitchen.
Another tip is to also keep some flour or baking soda near your stoves, microwaves, toasters, and ovens in case your fire extinguisher fails to work.
2. Near the Laundry Room
Are you a Laundromat or have some heat-generating machinery on your premise? For Laundromats, dryers are notorious for catching fire and hence the need to store a fire extinguisher close by.
But even in offices where machines, equipment, and devices are constantly plugged in and there is a risk of overheating, always keep a fire extinguisher within reach.
3. Near your Workshop/Garage
Do you have an underground garage at work? Or perhaps a workshop? These areas contain flammable substances and so keeping a commercial fire extinguisher within proximity of these places is recommended.
Concerning garages, if it is not temperature controlled, you may want to mount the fire extinguisher on an internal wall leading into the garage where the temperatures aren’t extreme.
4. Next to Heating Sources
Most office spaces have portable heaters and HVACs. Elements that radiate heat are by default potential fire hazards.
With that said, a fire extinguisher should be mounted within the vicinity of any of these heat-generating elements.
Places to NOT Store Your Commercial Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are not to be stored in obscure places, corners, inaccessible storage rooms, or locked cupboards/glass casings.
There must be nothing blocking access to fire extinguishers.
Don’t ever store your fire extinguisher so close to the fire hazard that if a fire breaks out you can’t reach the extinguisher. The ideal distance to mount your fire extinguisher from the potential hazard is approximately 10m (30 feet) away.
Don’t store all your fire extinguishers on one floor and have to run up and down floors in an emergency to get your hands on one. Each floor must have its own fire extinguisher(s).
And lastly, the fire warden appointed in the office during fire training is to know where the fire extinguisher on the floor is and make sure that it is visible.
Fire Extinguisher Storage Tips
Now that we’re familiar with where to store our fire extinguishers, let’s turn our attention to the correct storage technique. Here are answers to some of the questions you might have.
1. Can fire extinguishers be stored on their side?
Fire extinguishers can be pressurized or non-pressurized.
For non-pressurized fire extinguishers, storing them upright is ideal.
For some contemporary pressurized fire extinguishers, they have been designed in such a way that they can be stored on their side without issue.
This isn’t a general rule, however. The best answer is what’s recommended in the owner’s manual.
2. How long can we keep our fire extinguisher?
Many companies mount fire extinguishers and seem to wash their hands off any further responsibility for maintenance.
The only problem is that fire extinguishers aren’t everlasting. They can actually expire. Therefore, it’s not just storing them correctly that’s important but making sure that they are still in working order.
3. Are there any temperature requirements I need to note?
Yes, fire extinguishers should not be stored in rooms or environments with extreme or adverse temperatures.
Commercial fire extinguishers must only be stored in rooms or ventilated areas between -40 and 48.9°C (-40 and 120°F).
Storing fire extinguishers in temperatures that are less-than-ambient for a prolonged period may render them ineffective.
The fire extinguisher tips provided in this post provide a basic guideline for how and where to store your commercial fire extinguishers. However, it’s worth noting that placement might differ depending on the nature of your business operations.
If you’d like help to know the best places to mount your fire extinguisher, our fire experts at Profire Safety Services are always happy to help.
Additionally, we also design custom fire safety plans, conduct on-site routine testing, fire training, gas detection, inspections, and maintenance of fire protection systems such as sprinklers, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency lighting, emergency backup generators, and exit lighting.
Request a free quote today.