Dipil
Safety Consultant
Raghuvaran Chakkaravarthy
Environmental, Health And Safety
Neeraj4all
Lead - Ims
Kesava Pillai
Occupational Safety & Health
Krunal Mhatre
Ehs Executive
+2 Others

Thread Started by #ciplhr

Dear Seniors,
Please throw your knowledge on how many fire extinguishers have to be kept in an office which is to be put up across 1660 Sq.ft. Also please let me know what type of extinguishers are mandatory. Pl advise on the weight of the extinguisher and the number of extinguishers to be installed.
Is there any legal implication for installing fire extinguishers? Is a water sprinkler mandatory for such a company?
Thanks in advance
Regards,
CIPLHR
17th December 2010 From India, Madras
Dear ,

If a fire starts in the office environment, the usual policy is to get everyone out as quickly as possible and call the fire brigade.

However there may be times when a fire is discovered at an early stage and is considered controllable. In such a situation an attempt to extinguish the fire using fire extinguishing equipment should only be made if:

•Sufficient training has been provided on using fire extinguishers

•An escape route has been established

However fires can spread very quickly and if the situation escalates and becomes uncontrollable then it must be abandoned immediately.

Choosing extinguishers

It is essential that every fire extinguisher on site conforms to the appropriate Standard

Where to site your extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be bracket or stand mounted:

•Where they can be reached quickly (staff should be no more than 30 metres away from a fire extinguisher)

•Preferably on an escape route near to alarm points

•Where they are clearly visible i.e. not hidden behind doors or furniture

•Fixed to the wall at a height where it can be reached (up to 4 kg - 1.5m from the floor, more than 4kg at about 1m from the floor).

•Where they are accessible at all times. (i.e. not used as door props)

•Away from any heat source (e.g. radiators, kettles, cookers etc.)

Maintenance by a competent person

As pressurised vessels, fire extinguishers themselves carry potential risks. It also may be the difference between life and death if fire extinguishers work when needed. It is strongly advised that all fire extinguishers are properly serviced by a registered company

Basic inspection by the user

Instructions on fire extinguisher self-maintenance should be provided by the manufacturer. If an extinguisher has been used completely or partially, it must be recharged according to the manufacturers' instructions.

Good practice is to check for correct installation and apparent function on a weekly basis.

Types of extinguisher

In office environments there are four main types of extinguisher. They are colour coded so that you can identify them quickly and use the right extinguisher for the right purpose.

•Water (Red) — For use on solids only such as wood, plastics. Extinguishes by cooling. Not safe on petrol / oil fires + not to be used near electrical equipment.

•Dry Powder (Blue or Red with a Blue strip) — Can be used on solids such as wood, plastics + liquids such as petrol / paints. Safe to use near electrical appliances. Extinguishes by smothering the flames. Does not cool very well.

•Foam (Cream or Red with a cream strip) — Can be used on solids such as wood, plastics + liquids such as petrol / paints. Safe to use near electrical appliances. Extinguishes by smothering liquids with film or cooling and smothering solids.

•CO2 (Black or Red with a Black strip) — Suitable mostly for liquids only such as petrol / paints. Safe to use near electrical appliances. Extinguishes by displacing oxygen. Does not cool and not suitable for solids.

•Fire Blanket — Very effective at smothering the fire and denying it oxygen but has to cover entire burning areas. Good for intense but localized areas such as chip fat fires.

Number of fire extinguishers required

The following information is provided as a rough guide only, a proper fire risk assessment should be made to analyse the exact requirements.

As a rule of thumb offices and shops should have one 13A extinguisher covering 200 square metres of floor area. (13A is usually proportional to minimum 6 litre foam or 9 litre water).To calculate how many 13A extinguishers are required, divide the floor area by 200, and round up.

There should be a minimum of 2 extinguishers per floor, unless the floor area is below 100m2, in which case, one extinguisher only may suffice.

Specialised extinguishers (e.g. foam, carbon dioxide) should also be considered for the risk of fires to specialist materials / circumstances (e.g. flammable liquids, electrical equipment etc).

Signs

The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) regulations 1996 requires that where extinguishers are placed in positions hidden from direct view, their location should be indicated by signs and, where appropriate, directional arrows.

It is recommended that fire signs are used in any event as they are a low cost way of increasing safety in the office environment.

I hope its full fill your query. . . let me know do u any question . . .

Thanks & Besafe

Raghu
18th December 2010 From United States, Fpo
Dear ,

If a fire starts in the office environment, the usual policy is to get everyone out as quickly as possible and call the fire brigade.

However there may be times when a fire is discovered at an early stage and is considered controllable. In such a situation an attempt to extinguish the fire using fire extinguishing equipment should only be made if:

•Sufficient training has been provided on using fire extinguishers

•An escape route has been established

However fires can spread very quickly and if the situation escalates and becomes uncontrollable then it must be abandoned immediately.

Choosing extinguishers

It is essential that every fire extinguisher on site conforms to the appropriate Standard

Where to site your extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be bracket or stand mounted:

•Where they can be reached quickly (staff should be no more than 30 metres away from a fire extinguisher)

•Preferably on an escape route near to alarm points

•Where they are clearly visible i.e. not hidden behind doors or furniture

•Fixed to the wall at a height where it can be reached (up to 4 kg - 1.5m from the floor, more than 4kg at about 1m from the floor).

•Where they are accessible at all times. (i.e. not used as door props)

•Away from any heat source (e.g. radiators, kettles, cookers etc.)

Maintenance by a competent person

As pressurised vessels, fire extinguishers themselves carry potential risks. It also may be the difference between life and death if fire extinguishers work when needed. It is strongly advised that all fire extinguishers are properly serviced by a registered company

Basic inspection by the user

Instructions on fire extinguisher self-maintenance should be provided by the manufacturer. If an extinguisher has been used completely or partially, it must be recharged according to the manufacturers' instructions.

Good practice is to check for correct installation and apparent function on a weekly basis.

Types of extinguisher

In office environments there are four main types of extinguisher. They are colour coded so that you can identify them quickly and use the right extinguisher for the right purpose.

•Water (Red) — For use on solids only such as wood, plastics. Extinguishes by cooling. Not safe on petrol / oil fires + not to be used near electrical equipment.

•Dry Powder (Blue or Red with a Blue strip) — Can be used on solids such as wood, plastics + liquids such as petrol / paints. Safe to use near electrical appliances. Extinguishes by smothering the flames. Does not cool very well.

•Foam (Cream or Red with a cream strip) — Can be used on solids such as wood, plastics + liquids such as petrol / paints. Safe to use near electrical appliances. Extinguishes by smothering liquids with film or cooling and smothering solids.

•CO2 (Black or Red with a Black strip) — Suitable mostly for liquids only such as petrol / paints. Safe to use near electrical appliances. Extinguishes by displacing oxygen. Does not cool and not suitable for solids.

•Fire Blanket — Very effective at smothering the fire and denying it oxygen but has to cover entire burning areas. Good for intense but localized areas such as chip fat fires.

Number of fire extinguishers required

The following information is provided as a rough guide only, a proper fire risk assessment should be made to analyse the exact requirements.

As a rule of thumb offices and shops should have one 13A extinguisher covering 200 square metres of floor area. (13A is usually proportional to minimum 6 litre foam or 9 litre water).To calculate how many 13A extinguishers are required, divide the floor area by 200, and round up.

There should be a minimum of 2 extinguishers per floor, unless the floor area is below 100m2, in which case, one extinguisher only may suffice.

Specialised extinguishers (e.g. foam, carbon dioxide) should also be considered for the risk of fires to specialist materials / circumstances (e.g. flammable liquids, electrical equipment etc).

Signs

The Health & Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) regulations 1996 requires that where extinguishers are placed in positions hidden from direct view, their location should be indicated by signs and, where appropriate, directional arrows.

It is recommended that fire signs are used in any event as they are a low cost way of increasing safety in the office environment.

I hope its full fill your query. . .let me know do u any question . . .

Thanks & Besafe

Raghu
18th December 2010 From United States, Fpo
For a 1660 Sq Ft office you may install about 06 ABC type fire extinguishers. It also depends upon the type of activity and the number of personnel that are planned for working in this office. You may also go for a mix of Water CO2 type, Dry Chemical Powder and and CO2 type fire extinguishers. Ideally you may require 2 water CO2 type, 1 DCP type and 3 CO2 type fire extinguishers considering that you may be using good no. of computers in your office. In case you have some cabins to be designed for this office, then one extinguisher may be installed outside each cabin near the entrance. In case entrance of two cabins are near each other then you can economise on the number of extinguishers. There is no hard and fast rule on the number and type of extinguishers. It is in your own interest of safety that you may install them. As per rules, it is just mentioned that adequate number of extinguishers must be installed. The adequacy is as per your own conviction and judgement.
18th December 2010 From India, Jamnagar
Dear CIPL
1 extinguisher per 250 sq.ft making 07 extinguishers of 10 Kg Capacity
But in Office you need to place CO2 type due to computers and electricity, near electrical panel etc. ABC is usually placed but in case of usage at any time there would be powder all around and visibility hampered. The powder in ABC / DCP extinguisher ranges from 5 to 50 microns dia.
Correct usage and training to be given to all employees.
For further information please give details of office, number of floors, Fire load (if calculated) number of exits, and is there gas flooding system installed? etc for perfect numbers and type.
Regards
20th December 2010 From India, Mumbai
Dear All,
Thanks a tonne!
Raghu - Thanks for your efforts to explain on the whole...
Can you all please suggest a correct capacity and quantity for an office which is built across 1760 sq.ft - which will have one MD Cabin, and open workstations apart from a small pantry, washroom, UPS room and server room?
The total employee strength is 9.
Thanks in advance
Regards,
CIPLHR
23rd December 2010 From India, Madras
Dear Raghu,
As per your suggestion,wall mounting fire extinguisher height is 1.5 mtr.
So can you suggest me any legal way...as per indian standard(Related to any section of FA1948 or Any rule of MFR 1963)
I know...US--1.5mtr
Australia---1.2 mtr to 2 mtr
OSHA-Small----5 ft & LArge ----3 ft
But as per india standard...i cudn't get it?
regards,
krunal Mhatre
21st August 2015 From India, Boisar
Dear Ciplhr,
– some query, some answer!
As I take it, the post is to gain information on provision of fire extinguishers for a 1660 sq.ft building:
1. Number of fire extinguishers needed.
2. Mandatory type.
3. Weight.
4. On legal implications and
5. Sprinkler is mandatory or not?
Did you get satisfactory answers?
Can someone provide answers for the above questions only!
I am waiting to see the responses please.
Regards,
Kesava Pillai
22nd August 2015 From India, Kollam
Dear Sir
If you see the starting date of this thread, its Dec' 2010. So replying to this thread may not be helping to the thread starter for sure.
But the way your took it is great. Lets see some other forum members are also interested to participate.
I shall come back to you with very specific inputs based on NBC & IS standards. Now little hectic with other tasks till coming Sunday.
Really nice to see you back into actions as like earlier into CiteHR Safety forum.
@ Krunal: Try to answer to the queries put up by Mr. Kesava Pillai and be a part of the discussion. There is legal citation regarding the height of placement of Fire Extinguishers which you can find in most of the State Factory Rules.

9th September 2015 From India
Dear Dipil and other friends,

When there is a query one earnestly seeks solution for the specific issue at hand.

Instead of extending a helping hand if all that we know is thrown at him and ask him to pick what he wants may confuse him. It is a kind of harassing for posting the query.

Here the questions are simple as I mentioned earlier

1) how many fire extinguishers have to be kept in an office which is to be put up across 1660 Sq.ft.

2) what type of extinguishers are mandatory.

3) weight of the extinguisher and the number of extinguishers to be installed.

4) Is there any legal implication for installing fire extinguishers?

5) Is a water sprinkler mandatory for such a company?

Appropriate answers to me are:

1. ( The number and size of fire extinguishers required for any particular premises shall be determined by the appropriate authority taking into consideration the severity of incipient fire anticipated, rapidity with which a fire may spread, intensity of heat that may be developed , accessibility to fire, type of extinguisher, the smoke contributed by the burning material. Special features of building construction and nature of occupancy (single or mixed) and electrical fitting equipment etc. installed therein.

The required number of fire extinguishers may be determined by considering any single extinguisher of suitable type or a combination of two or more types. (IS 2190 1992)

Nobody can give a perfect answer for this question. Whoever suggests a reply assumes things.

The best answer you can pick is, from wherever you stand within 15 meters of travel there should be a fire extinguishers.

A minimum of 1 fire extinguisher should be available per100 sq.meters. You may provide any number above this.

2. All types are accepted as mandatory. Including a 200 liter barrel full of water with a bucket. However it is just the site conditions that requires consideration. Instead of confusing with different types better select only one type – ABC that will suffice.

3. There is no hard and fast rule regarding size or weight. However it is best to go for 10 Kg capacity extinguishers.

4. Yes, there are legal implications. You may please refer to National building code 2005, part 4, “fire and life safety” if you are interested.

5. Sprinkler system is not required as per the above building code. You can refer to the table provided in it.

Regards,

Kesava Pillai
10th September 2015 From India, Kollam
Dear Sir

Thanks.

I do agree with your point that we should try to help others by posting relevant answers to their concerns. I am trying to do that nowadays. My reply to this post was happened long back so may not be that relevant. As I said, this post was created years back in 2010 and as someone replied to this with his new query (Regarding height of placement of extinguisher by Mr. Krunal) this post come up and you found this interesting and replied. Its well appreciated and as always I am just eagerly waiting for every post of you as its always given a great learning to me. Even though not yet talk and seen, I am considering you an my ideal personality in this profession and mentioned that at many forum. Examples of discussions which still benefited me and use in front of other as like "AC or DC is more Dangerous and why?" "LPG or DA is more dangerous and why?". Most of the safety people I met, technical people I met, are in confusion and with the inputs you given though this forum, I am able to satisfy them. Nowadays I am trying to give my best to the forum by managing the time.

Now let me add few things to what you have replied regarding Fire Extinguishers:

1. Annexure B of IS 2190:2010 gives "Recommendation for Installation of Fire Extinguishers" based on the type of Occupancy and Nature of Occupancy. The thread starter using two terms in the query as like Office and Company. So we have to first make it sure, its for an office building or for a company and in the two cases, requirement differentiate. You can refer the said annexure for more details. For an example , An office building with Special hazard as per this annexure has to install fire extinguisher as said below:

"one 4.5 kg capacity carbon dioxide or one 2/3 kg capacity clean agent extinguisher to be placed for every 100 m2 of floor area or part thereof with minimum of two extinguishers so located as to be available within 10 m radius"

2. Refer 2190 and select which type your industry or office required. In case of companies registered under Factories Act 1948, do refer the applicable state factory rules also apart from National Building Code 2005 and IS 2190.

3. Refer IS 2190 Annex B

4. Yes. As per NBC and relevant state factory rules.

5. Automatic Sprinkler System are mandatory to install as per National Building Code depending upon the Type of Building Occupancy, Floor & Basement Built Up Area. For example in case of an office building:

1. Upto 10 meter and if a basement present with an area exceeding 200 m2, Automatic Sprinkler System is mandatory.

2. Above 30 meter, to be installed in entire building.

More details can be obtained from Table 23, Part 4 - Fire and Life Safety of National Building Code


10th September 2015 From India
Dear Krunal
The below is from Gujarat State Factory Rule 1963.
First-aid fire fighting equipment shall be placed on platforms or in cabinets in such a way that their bottom is 750 mm above the floor level. Fire buckets shall be placed on hooks attached to a suitable stand or wall in such a way that their bottom is 750 mm above the floor level. Such equipment if placed outside the building, shall be under sheds or covers.
Try to search it out for similar requirement from your relevant state factory rules. If you get something, follow that. More or less similar to above. Some of the state factory rule is silent on this requirement.
No other legislation as like NBC or IS having this specification on the placement height.
Hope this help..

10th September 2015 From India
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