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Emergency Standards Portable Fire Extinguishers

Workplace fires and explosions kill hundreds and injure thousands of workers each year. One way to limit the amount of damage due to such fires is to make portable fire extinguishers an important part of your fire prevention program. When used properly, fire extinguishers can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or controlling a fire until additional help arrives. A fire is the most common type of emergency for which small businesses must plan. A critical decision when planning is whether or not employees should fight a small fire with a portable fire extinguisher or simply evacuate. [Fight or Flee?]

 

Extinguisher Basics

Extinguisher Basics

This section provides basic information on fire and fire extinguisher operation and types.

Fire Extinguisher Use

Fire Extinguisher Use

If fire extinguishers are available for employee use, it is the employer's responsibility to educate employees on the principles and practices of using a fire extinguisher and the hazards associated with fighting small or developing fires.

Extinguisher Placement and Spacing

Extinguisher Placement and Spacing

Portable fire extinguishers can be an effective early response to a developing fire, if they are installed and used properly.

Hydrostatic Testing

Hydrostatic Testing

Over time, normal handling or workplace conditions can impact the structural integrity of the extinguisher and cause it to malfunction or burst. To prevent this from happening, all portable fire extinguishers are required to be inspected and pressure tested by a qualified individual using the proper equipment and facilities.

OSHA's Fire Extinguisher Requirements

OSHA's Fire Extinguisher Requirements

The requirements of this section apply to the placement, use, maintenance, and testing of portable fire extinguishers provided for the use of employees.

Test Your Knowledge

Test Your Knowledge

Take our quiz to test your knowledge about portable fire extinguishers!

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