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A Quick Guide to Fire Extinguisher Placement and Storage

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Bob Vezzani

Fire Protection Engineer at Guardian Security Systems Inc.
Bob is the Director of Fire System Sales at Guardian Security Systems, Inc. He has over 14 years of fire alarm installation and protection experience.
Bob Vezzani
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Portable fire extinguishers can be an effective early response to an early stage fire if they are installed, maintained, placed and kept properly. If a fire erupts, you want it to work and to be easily accessible and easily found. Here are some basic fire extinguisher placement and storage guidelines to help you ensure that happens.

Keep Them in the Open

Fire extinguishers are intended to stand out in its surroundings so, in residential use you can expect to throw style to the side when you consider placement. Fire extinguishers are designed to clash and stand out so that even if someone is not familiar with the home can find it easily in an emergency. That means keeping it behind a door or closed off in a pantry or closet is absolutely not ideal. It may not be stunning, but keep your fire extinguisher in the open and it can save the rest of your beautiful home.

Store Fire Extinguishers Five Feet Off the Ground

The best height to place your fire extinguisher is at five feet. This is so that young people cannot grab it and be hurt, but also adds to the speed with which it is able to be deployed. We know, if keeping in the open makes it prominent, placing it at eye-level makes it a centerpiece. Remember though, you will be glad for this in an emergency where seconds count.

Never Store Extinguishers Near Heat Sources

Fire extinguishers should never be store near heat sources such as stoves, generators, or fireplaces. Extinguishers should be kept in temperatures between -40 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid serious damage to the hose, valve, or tank.

Kitchens Deserve Special Consideration

With 65% of fires starting in the kitchen (according to the US Fire Administration), it is critical to have one in this room. Typically, kitchen fires are grease fires which cannot be extinguished with water. In fact, trying to put out a grease fire with water can be dangerous.

Other Important Rooms to Have Fire Extinguishers

The US Fire Administration recommends keeping a fire extinguisher on each level of a home as well as these important areas prone to fires:

  • Shop/Garage
  • Laundry Room
  • Patio/Grill
  • Basement

A fire extinguisher is a life-saving device and should be treated as such with careful placement and regular professional maintenance. Guardian Security specialists are fully certified and trained in fire extinguisher inspection and maintenance. Located in Seattle, and serving all of Washington State, Guardian is knowledgeable of all national, state, and local codes and AHJ rules and regulations.

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