Dipil
Safety Consultant
Raghuvaran Chakkaravarthy
Environmental, Health And Safety
Kesava Pillai
Occupational Safety & Health
Neeraj4all
Lead - Ims
Krunal Mhatre
Ehs Executive
+1 Other

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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

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

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

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.
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

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

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

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

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.

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


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