Fire extinguishers are required in industrial, commercial, and residential buildings listed in NFPA 1: Fire Code, which includes most hotels. Proven to be effective at stopping small fires from spreading, portable fire extinguishers are considered a first line of defense. New York City Fire Code stipulates the type and placement of portable fire extinguishers based on several factors, including building size and specific fire hazards.
What Types of Portable Fire Extinguishers Are Needed in Hotels?
The industry standard for portable fire extinguishers, NFP 10, classifies extinguishers based on their capacity and the type of fires they are designed to extinguish. The extinguishers needed in a hotel depends largely on the types of combustive materials present.
Extinguishers come in 5 types based on the variety of combustible they are designed to fight:
- Class A extinguishers for ordinary combustibles such as wood
- Class B for flammable liquid
- Class C for electrical equipment and components
- Class D for combustible metals
- Class K for commercial cooking equipment
Extinguishers labeled “ABC” are made to handle all combustibles in those three types. An audit performed by a certified, professional fire protection company will determine which types of fire extinguishers a hotel requires and, more importantly, where they should be placed.
Where Should Fire Extinguishers be Placed?
The location of portable fire extinguishers is determined by three primary factors: square footage and layout of an area; proximity to people; and presence of different types of combustible material. Assuming the presence of a combustible material, a Type A, C, or D extinguisher must always be within 75 feet of occupants of a building. A Type B extinguisher must always be within 30 to 50 feet of occupants, depending on the hazards that are present. A K type extinguisher must be kept within 30 feet of a hazard at all times.
Portable fire extinguishers are critical to a hotel’s overall safety program. Fire extinguishers need to be properly located and regularly inspected, maintained, and tested by a certified fire protection professional to ensure they are in proper working order.