Fire Extinguisher Mounting Height
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on May 27, 2020 12:00:00 AM
Q: In a recent Life Safety survey the state surveyor said that fire extinguishers under a certain weight must be mounted no higher than 5 feet high at the handle. For extinguishers over 40 pounds, they must be mounted no higher than 3 feet high. Our extinguishers were mounted 5'3". Since it is in a recessed cabinet, the entire cabinet must be moved. I believe the surveyor but could you give me the supporting NFPA resource so that I can see all of the requirements before I scour the building looking for other extinguishers that are too high? Are there any differences in existing construction vs. new construction?
A: Yes, the surveyor is mostly correct. There are no breaks for existing or new construction: The height of the extinguisher is all the same. This can be found in NFPA 10-2010, section 188.8.131.52:
- 184.108.40.206.1 Fire extinguishers having a gross weight not exceeding 40 lb. shall be installed so that the top of the fire extinguisher is not more than 5 ft above the floor.
- 220.127.116.11.2 Fire extinguishers having a gross weight greater than 40 lb. (except wheeled types) shall be installed so that the top of the fire extinguisher is not more than 3½ ft. above the floor.
- 18.104.22.168.3 In no case shall the clearance between the bottom of the hand portable fire extinguisher and the floor be less than 4 in.