Portable fire extinguishers are the first line of defense against small fires. Here are some important NFPA Standards and statistics referencing these life-safety devices.
NFPA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers (2010 Edition)
1.1 The provisions of this standard apply to the selection, installation, inspection, maintenance and testing of portable extinguishing
1.1.3 The requirements given herein are minimum. 1.1.1 Portable fire extinguishers are intended as a first line of defense to cope
with fires of limited size.
4.1 General Requirements. The selection of fire extinguishers for a given situation shall be determined by the type and size of the fires
anticipated, energized electrical equipment in the vicinity, the vehicle or hazard to be protected, ambient-temperature conditions, and other
• 94% of the time a portable fire extinguisher is used; it puts out the fire—typically within the initial two minutes.
• Loss of life is minimal. 93% of all fire-related deaths occur once the fire has progressed beyond the early stages.
• Direct property damage is minimal. 95% of all direct property damage occurs once the fire has progressed beyond the early stages.
Standards cover both the construction and fire testing of fire extinguishers. The UL rating is a letter and number system which indicates a fire extinguisher’s capability to extinguish fires of different sizes and types. NFPA (the National Fire Protection Association) writes the standard for fire extinguisher selection, use, and maintenance. OSHA and building codes include the requirements of when and where fire extinguishers are required in building structures. The USCG (U.S. Coast Guard) and the DOT (Department of Transportation) regulate where extinguishers are required in vessels and motor vehicles. The AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction), which is usually the Fire Marshal, adopts and enforces these codes and standards.
Fire Extinguisher Types and Applications
To Learn more about the different types of Fire Extinguisher: