Fire safety is of utmost importance, and proper placement of fire extinguishers plays a vital role in effective fire prevention and response. Placing fire extinguishers on the floor is not recommended for several compelling reasons. In this article, we'll explore the risks associated with placing fire extinguishers on the floor and discuss alternative and safer placement options.
The Risk of Damage to the Extinguisher
One of the primary reasons why fire extinguishers should never be placed on the floor is the risk of damage to the extinguisher itself. Dropping an extinguisher on the floor can have serious consequences. It may weaken the outer casing or damage operable parts, such as handles, rendering the extinguisher useless during an emergency. This not only jeopardizes lives but also puts property at risk.
Additionally, fire extinguishers placed on the floor are more susceptible to corrosion. Corrosion can further weaken the structure of the extinguisher, potentially causing it to fail when needed most.
The Risk of Inaccessibility During Emergencies
In the event of a fire emergency, time is critical. Placing fire extinguishers on the floor can make them challenging to access quickly, especially if they are obscured by furniture or other obstacles. This delay in response time increases the risk of the fire spreading and becoming more severe.
To ensure that fire extinguishers are readily accessible during emergencies, they should be placed at an appropriate height, typically between 3.5 to 5 feet above the floor. This placement ensures visibility, ease of access, and reduces the risk of damage.
Alternative Placement Locations for Fire Extinguishers
Ideal Placement Locations
Near Exits: Fire extinguishers should be positioned near exits for quick access, particularly in areas prone to fires, such as kitchens or workshops.
Near Potential Fire Hazards: Place extinguishers close to potential fire hazards, such as electrical equipment or flammable liquids, to mitigate small fires before they escalate.
On Walls: Mounting fire extinguishers on walls ensures visibility and accessibility, making them easy to locate during emergencies.
Acceptable Placement Locations
On a Stand: In cases where wall mounting is not feasible, fire extinguishers can be placed on a stand on the floor.
In a Cabinet: Placing extinguishers in cabinets can protect them from damage and reduce visibility, but ensure the cabinet is easily accessible and well-marked.
On a Cart: For larger facilities with multiple fire hazards, placing extinguishers on a cart that can be moved as needed is an acceptable option.