The National Fire Protection Association publishes many different safety standards, including several focused on fire extinguishers and fire sprinklers. Almost all employers need to have a qualifying fire safety system in place, which will typically include extinguishers and sprinklers. Making sure these essential tools are kept in proper working order and in compliance with best practices is an important step for workplace safety.
NFPA Fire Extinguisher Standards
NFPA 10 is the main document that is published specifically for fire extinguishers. This standard puts out a set of requirements related to portable extinguishers that are set up to be a first line of defense from a fire. This will include how many extinguishers are needed in a given area, what type they should be, and much more. NFPA 408 is for hand portable fire extinguishers in aircraft, which has differences for the devices as they are used in these confined spaces and at a high altitude.
NFPA Fire Sprinkler Standards
NFPA 13 is titled, “Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems,” and outlines how these systems should be installed. NFPA 13D expands is for one and two family dwellings as well as manufactured homes. NFPA 13E is the recommended practice for fire departments in properties that have sprinkler systems installed. NFPA 13R is the installation guide for sprinkler systems in low-rise residential buildings. NFPA 16 is the installation guide for foam-water sprinkler and spray systems.
The fact that there are so many NFPA codes focused on sprinkler systems helps to show the importance of these fire suppression systems. Whether they are used in residential areas or commercial areas, they can effectively extinguish fires before they spread and put the entire structure in danger.
Keeping Fire Safety Compliant
Whether looking at extinguishers or sprinkler systems, it is important to not only ensure they are installed correctly, but also that they are properly maintained. These types of equipment need to be inspected regularly to ensure they will work should there ever be a fire in the area. Without proper testing, those in the area could have a false sense of security, which can put them in grave danger.