How Many Fire Extinguishers Do I Need for My Business?

If you own a business in Santa Clarita, CA, keeping your employees safe in the event of a fire situation is not only a moral obligation, but also a legal one. Not only do you need to comply with all local and state regulations, but you also need to fulfill obligations set out by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The number of extinguishers you have at your business matters. Read on to learn what you need to know about how many fire extinguishers OSHA requires for businesses.

Fire hazard level of the building

The first step in determining how many fire extinguishers you need for your business in Santa Clarita, CA is determining the fire hazard level of your commercial space. The NFPA dictates that a person should not be required to walk more than 75 feet to reach a fire extinguisher in any building, but there are some buildings or businesses that have a greater risk, and providing easier access to extinguishers is a smart idea. As a general rule, the higher the hazard, the more likely it is for a fire to develop rapidly and have high rates of heat release:

  • Commercial kitchens: These businesses are at the highest risk of fire in terms of spread and heat release.
  • Extra fire hazard I and II: Applies to spaces with moderate to substantial amounts of combustible material. These include businesses like sawmills, upholstery shops, manufacturing plants, etc.
  • Ordinary fire hazard I and II: Applies to spaces with low to high volume of combustible materials, with no stockpile existing over 12 feet high. Examples include distilleries, barns or stables, libraries, food processing facilities, etc.
  • Light fire hazard: This classification applies to businesses with low quantity or combustibility of contents, including churches, offices, schools, etc.

Keep in mind that how many fire extinguishers OSHA requires depends on the presence of flammable liquids in your facility. If you maintain a store of five or more gallons of flammable liquids or gas, you need to keep an extinguisher of at least a 10-B rating within 50 feet of the container.

Size and layout of rooms

In simplest terms, you can use the square footage of your building as a guideline for how many extinguishers you’ll need to purchase and install. For the safety of your employees or customers, though, you should consult your local fire equipment provider to survey your space to make sure employees have easy access to extinguishers no matter where they are. They’ll take into account the route your employees will need to take to reach an extinguisher, since the 75-foot rule should only be used as a bare minimum guideline.

Also, remember that if your commercial space is a multistory building with at least one stairwell, an extinguisher should be placed adjacent to the stairway.

The nature of your operations and the layout of your commercial space in Santa Clarita, CA should dictate how many fire extinguishers you need for your business. Always consult a professional fire equipment provider to make sure your employees are safe in the event of a fire. Contact Raider Fire Protection today to learn more about fire extinguisher safety requirements.