Every business needs fire extinguishers and the number required is not a ‘one size fits all’ answer. The type, placement and number of fire extinguishers on the premises depends on a number of factors including the building layout, its pre-determined fire hazard level, its size and the kind of fire it could face.

A reputable fire protection company can advise on the appropriate number and type of fire extinguishers for a given building and its environment. Fire safety consultants can also help train staff and develop a comprehensive fire prevention plan to help protect the business, assets and reputation.

There are five types of fire extinguishers based on the type of fuel and fire they can put out. Each has its own colour and markings, which helps identify the kind of fire it can extinguish. There are four elements a fire must take shape to ignite and burn, which makes it possible for fire extinguishers to stop them. These are combustible gases, flammable liquids and metals, and electrical equipment. When you remove any of these, a fire cannot continue to grow and will extinguish.

A typical small office with limited combustible materials would need one or two fire extinguishers, while a large factory will require more to cover the potential ignition sources. FDNY regulations set the minimum number and type of fire extinguishers required for each business, and they also dictate how many fire extinguishers must be visible and readily accessible on the premises. To ensure this, it is recommended that they are positioned along normal pathways and not obscured or concealed. The maximum travel distance between fire extinguishers should be no more than 75 ft.