• Extinguishers: Install Wheeled Fire Extinguishers
    for Large Fire Areas

    By Mark Conroy

    All fire extinguishers are portable. While handheld extinguishers are carried, wheeled extinguishers are transported on wheels or “wheeled” to a fire scene. Both types of extinguishers are portable, because they are capable of being transported. Here is information that you can use to make the best decisions for applications where wheeled extinguishers are most appropriate.

    Advantages of Wheeled Extinguisher vs. Hand-Held Extinguishers

    Higher Flow Rate Quicker knockdown and control of large fire areas and intense fires
    Longer Stream Range A fire with intense heat release can be fought from a safe distance
    Larger Capacity Longer sustained discharge and more agent available in the event of re-flash

    Listed Wheeled Extinguishers

    Very large extinguishers have carriages and wheels, so they can be easily transported and immediately used on a fire. The carriage and wheels are installed by the extinguisher manufacturer, due to the large size of the extinguisher. A wheeled extinguisher is manufactured as a listed assembly (extinguisher with carriage and wheels). An extinguisher that has been field modified to use wheels is not listed and would not be acceptable to an authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).

    Matching Tires and Wheels to Terrain

    For outdoor applications, you will need to decide if rubber tires are best or whether large, wide-rim wheels are preferred. The selection of one over the other will depend on the terrain. For pavement, rubber tires are often preferred, since the tires allow the extinguisher to be quickly moved to a fire scene. Wide-rim wheels do not sink into loose terrain, and large wheels allow for easier movement over rocks and other objects. Careful assessment of the terrain will dictate the type of wheels that are selected.

    Indoor Applications

    Manufacturing, package handling, and storage warehouses are indoor locations where large quantities of Class A combustible materials are present and wheeled extinguishers are needed. Careful consideration must be given regarding the mobility of the unit and how to maneuver it out of position to a fire scene. Building design, furnishings, and flooring need to be suitable to accommodate movement and free turning. Also doorways, aisles, and corridors need to be wide enough to permit easy passage.

    Marking Wheeled Extinguisher Locations

    Wheeled extinguishers are required to be positioned in designated locations [10,]. Painted lines on the pavement or adhesive tape markings on the floor designate the locations where wheeled extinguishers are to be positioned. NFPA 10, Wheeled fire extinguishers shall be located in designated locations.

    Wherever there is a need for an extinguisher that has a large capacity of extinguishing agent, a longer stream range, and a higher flow rate, consideration should be given to the installation of wheeled extinguishers. Your customers will appreciate these features that are designed for the most challenging of fire hazards.

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    Mark Conroy is an engineer in our Boston office, specializing in fire extinguishers and their applications.

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above Tech Series article are the author’s only and provide limited information. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Brooks Equipment Company, LLC expressly disclaims any warranty with respect to the information and any liability for errors or omissions. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information’s accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.