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Fire Extinguisher Question: Required Vs. Not

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  • Fire Extinguisher Question: Required Vs. Not

    So here's the situation, we have a new 3 story dormitory that is fully sprinklered. NFPA 101 says that if the building is fully sprinklered, fire extinguishers would only be required in specific hazard areas:

    NFPA 101 Chapter (New Hotels and Dormitories)
    In buildings other than those protected throughout with an approved,
    supervised automatic sprinkler system in accordance with, portable
    fire extinguishers shall be provided as specified in in hazardous
    areas addressed by

    However, NFPA 10 seems to contradict what NFPA 101 says:

    NFPA 10 5.4.2* Selection by Occupancy. Fire extinguishers shall be provided
    for the protection of both the building structure and the occupancy hazards
    contained therein regardless of the presence of any fixed fire suppression

    The excuse that the agency is offering is that the center section is a different occupancy class than the wing sections, which is R-2 residential. (offices and classrooms) The areas are separated by magnetic release fire doors in the event of an alarm. However, there are NO fire extinguishers in R-2 wings on any floor.

    Currently, there are no fire extinguishers installed in (1) the main mechanical room (2) any of the electrical rooms (3) and any other mechanical rooms. There are also no fire extinguishers installed in any of the self-serve laundry areas.

    The only fire extinguishers installed are 2 on the 1st floor, and 1 on each of the other floors in the center area of each floor. Travel distances from the center mounted fire extinguishers well exceed the 75' limit to an exit door at each end. Each wing is approximately 150 feet long from the center enclosed stairwell, to an exit door at each end.

    My question is: Which code has more bearing, the NFPA 10 requiring extinguishers, or the NFPA 101 Chapter 28 which says they wouldn't be?

  • #2
    (Assuming your adopted code doesn't have any unusual local quirks: )

    NFPA 10 only tells you where to put fire extinguishers if they are required.

    NFPA 101 tells you if they are required.

    In this case, NFPA 101 doesn't require them so the placement instructions in NFPA 10 are moot.

    FWIW, the trend in newer codes has been to require fire extinguishers if fewer and fewer areas. Keep in mind that if there are extinguishers presnt -- whether they are required or not -- they have to be installed accordance with the appropriate code i.e. NFPA 10.
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 01-11-2012, 06:29 PM.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.


    • #3

      It appears that more info is needed to pinpoint the requirements for the fire extinguishers.

      What is the occupancy hazard classification for the center section of the new dormatory? What Code is the Agency complying with for the fire extinguishers that are installed in the center section on each floor? The dimensions/sketch of the space need to be provided also. Based on the info provided in your post, it appears that depending on the type and placement, the fire extinguishers located on the first floor (center section) may be acceptable, if they are required. Based on the info provided in your post, the placement of the fire extinguishers on the other two floors (cemter section) may not be adequate, if they are required.


      • #4
        I guess that I would first ask a question to your question: Are you looking for ammunition to use against the agency so that you can require them to install extinguishers in the hazard areas? That is just what it seems like to me, because I think a lot of us have been in that position.


        • #5
          sounds like nfpa 101 is the adopted code so that is what you would go by first

          I think they still need to meet the 75 ft max travel to a fire extinguisher

          we have it admended to require one 2a10bc fe every 3000 sq not more than 75 ft

          you might throw at them that if there are not fire extingusihers near by to use, the next line of defense are the fire sprinklers, and it takes a little fire to get them going


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