Keep These Considerations in Mind When Choosing a Fire Extinguisher Cabinet

While neither the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) nor the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires business owners to place fire extinguishers within fire extinguisher cabinets, they are strongly suggested, and some Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other requirements may make a cabinet necessary for your commercial space.

While you likely already know that there are several fire extinguishers to choose from for specific applications, selecting the right cabinet to hold them can be even more confusing. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you make your choice.

ADA compliance

The main consideration to keep in mind when selecting fire extinguisher cabinets is ADA compliance. Many municipal codes require full compliance with ADA accessibility guidelines. Cabinets come in many semi-recessed or fully-recessed options, and cabinets need to project no more than four inches from the wall to meet ADA requirements. There are also mounting heights to take into account. To make sure you’re meeting full compliance regulations, it’s best to consult with a local fire extinguisher supply company that can guide you in the right direction using a deep understanding of local building codes.


You have several choices when it comes to the material of your extinguisher cabinet. Wooden cabinets can have an upscale, less obtrusive look than other options like aluminum or stainless steel, but they are often more expensive. If weight is a concern, aluminum is lighter than stainless steel, while stainless steel is rust-proof and will look great for years to come.

Handles, locks and latches

The International Building Code (IBC) states that cabinets can’t be locked unless they’re installed in areas where the extinguisher could be subject to malicious use or damage, or in security facilities and mental health facilities. Many cabinets feature a lock with a flexible cam and a pull handle. It gives the cabinet the appearance of being locked without actually being locked.

Another important consideration to keep in mind is that a door pull is considered an “operable part” by the ADA, which means it must be able to be opened with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist, and must be opened with less than five pounds of force.


Both the IBC and the International Fire Code (IFC) have specific guidelines regarding lettering on fire extinguisher cabinets. Local codes also sometimes specify what type of lettering needs to be on cabinet doors. Again, it’s best to contact your local fire equipment supplier to help you sort through the regulations to discover which option is best for your space.


In some cases, IBC requirements call for full glass doors or vertical glass panels to allow for visualization of the extinguisher inside. If the extinguisher isn’t visible, additional signage will be required.

It’s clear that when it comes to selecting fire extinguisher cabinets for your commercial space, you need to take more than aesthetic considerations into account. Always work with a reputable fire equipment dealer who offers a broad selection as well as a wealth of expertise that can help guide you in your choice. Contact Raider Fire Protection today to learn more about the various types of extinguisher cabinets and to discover the best option for your business.