Fire Extinguisher in Furnace Room
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Sep 9, 2020 12:00:00 AM
Q: I work for a counseling agency, and in order to get a new license, I was required to get a life safety inspection. We have been licensed and providing services in our building for over 10 years. On the recent inspection, we were cited for not having fire extinguishers in our furnace rooms. This has never been an issue before due to the rooms being less than 500 square feet, sprinklers being present in the rooms, and a fire extinguisher located within travel distance outside the room. I am just looking for clarification if a fire extinguisher is still required in the furnace rooms despite these other measures.
A: If you’re looking for a specific code or standard that says you must install a fire extinguisher in a furnace rooms, I don’t think you will find it in any NFPA code or standard. But NFPA 10-2010, A.6.1.1 describes the locations where a fire extinguisher should be placed. Among other factors, it lists “Severity of hazard”. It is possible that the person conducting the life safety inspection figured you needed a fire extinguisher in the furnace room based on the furnace room is a higher degree of hazard than the surrounding area. It may just be the opinion of the inspector. It makes sense. Fire extinguishers are cheap insurance when you need one. I suggest you comply.