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OSHA Fire Extinguisher Height, Placement, and Requirements

10/04/2021 3:09 PM | M.J. D'Smith (Administrator)

OSHA Fire Extinguisher Height, Placement, and Requirements

The OSHA standard for fire extinguishers dictates that employers should

"provide portable fire extinguishers and mount, locate, and identify them so that they are readily accessible to employees without subjecting the employees to possible injury."

OSHA also states that only approved fire extinguishers can be used. They must remain in their designated place unless being used. The employer must ensure they are fully charged, well maintained, and working properly.

Each business should consider the types of fire likely to take place in their workplace and select the extinguishers accordingly. The standard also sets out where to place extinguishers to comply with the maximum distance an employee should travel to deal with a fire using that equipment.

In addition, there are rules relating to how often an employer should test a fire extinguisher, both visually and in more detail, as well as the training that they should offer employees regarding their use and the hazards and risks involved.

OSHA Fire Extinguisher Mounting Height Requirements

According to the Extinguisher Placement and Safety page of OSHA's Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool, there must be at least four inches clearance between the floor and the bottom of a portable extinguisher. The administration tells employers that they must mount them on the wall or place them in wall cabinets to help prevent anyone from moving or damaging them.

There are also rules about the maximum mounting height, based on the gross weight.

For example... If an extinguisher weighs less than 40 lbs, the carrying handle should be no more than 5 ft from the ground. Any heavier than 40 lbs and the handle should be no more than 3.5 ft from the floor.

These heights reflect the requirement that employees should be able to access a fire extinguisher without risking an injury. It is more manageable for an employee to handle a larger extinguisher if you mount it lower.

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