At a bare minimum, every home should have at least one fire extinguisher; however, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends there be at least one fire extinguisher on each level of the home and one within 40 feet of anywhere a person is likely to be in the home at any given time.
While most fires remain in their area of origin, the ones that spread can quickly turn deadly, so having multiple fire extinguishers in different areas of the home is critical for stopping that spread. Engaging in proper fire extinguisher placement can be a lifesaver.
Everyone in your home should know exactly where fire extinguishers are placed and how to use them. You should make sure these extinguishers are easily accessible and that they’re highly visible with the label facing forwards. Track their last date of inspection, so you can make sure they’re in working order once you need them.
Here are a few examples of some of the ideal locations in a home for fire extinguisher placement:
- Kitchen: Kitchens are natural locations to have fire extinguishers due to the prevalence of cooking accidents and fires. Keep an extinguisher within 30 feet of the stove, so it can be easily accessed. Just keep it away from the immediate vicinity of the stove, as smoke or flames could block access to it. For people with small kitchens, it may be necessary to put the extinguisher on the wall of an adjacent room in an easily-accessible location.
- Each floor: The NFPA recommends having at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home, including basements and attics, as fires can start anywhere at any time. Having an extinguisher on each floor of the home will make it easier for you to prevent fires from spreading.
- Heat sources: Approximately 20 percent of all fires are caused by heating equipment, according to NFPA data. This includes furnaces, fireplaces, space heaters, chimneys and pellet stoves. The extinguisher shouldn’t be kept right next to the heat source but within a safe distance of it, so it can be easily accessed should a fire start.
- Garage: Garages are often stocked with combustible materials like gas canisters, cleaning products, oils, certain types of paints and various rags and papers. If you work with tools in your garage or have these types of products on hand, make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby, so you can prevent serious fires from occurring.
- Bedrooms: Bedrooms should all have easy access to fire extinguishers, especially because most fires occur at night. Make sure even your children know how to use these extinguishers. If all bedrooms are located in one area of the home, place an extinguisher in a central location that’s easily accessed by all of them.
For more tips about fire extinguisher placement in your home and what you can do to improve your home’s fire safety, we encourage you to get in touch with the team at Great Escape Fire Escape Service.