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    Proper Placement of Extinguishers (11,250 ft2 sketch)

    By Mark Conroy


    Have you ever had a discussion or debate with a building owner or architect over the proper placement of portable fire extinguishers throughout a building? Here’s a neat little sketch that has been added to NFPA 10, 2010 edition that will help you win those debates. It graphically shows that extinguishers must be 106 feet apart in order to satisfy the 75 ft travel distance rule. Some people were misunderstanding the travel distance rule to imply that extinguishers could be 150 ft apart. Well you can see from this sketch that a square inscribed inside a circle with a 75 ft radius has sides that are 106 ft. That’s because the hypotenuse of a right-angle triangle with sides of 75 ft is 106 ft. If you stack the squares next to each other, you’ll see that their centers are 106 ft apart and therefore there is a need for the extinguishers to be 106 feet apart in order for any point to be no more than 75 ft from an extinguisher. If extinguishers are further apart, they are not in compliance with Table 6.2.1.1 of NFPA 10. So next time you are in a discussion about proper placement of extinguishers throughout a building, have a copy of this article handy. No one can argue successfully against the logic, the sketch, or the reference to NFPA 10.


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