How Many Fire Extinguishers Should You Have?

How Many Fire Extinguishers Should You Have?

Taryn Williford
Mar 31, 2011
Did you know there's a laser+LED fire simulator for fire extinguishing training?

We know safety is your number one priority, but it's easy to forget about a silly thing like making sure your apartment has enough fire extinguishers. Especially when you're a renter. Since your apartment already has one fire extinguisher set up in the kitchen, that must be good enough, right? Maybe not. Check out these tips.

How many fire extinguishers do you need in your house? It depends.

You need at least...
As many as is required by local regulations.

Every state is going to have different regulations about how many fire extinguishers are required in each apartment building. Some may require one in every unit, while others may just say there needs to be one extinguisher for every 2,500 square feet of space. A quick call to your city's fire department's non-emergency number should answer any questions you have about your local regulations. At the very least, your unit (or hallway) should comply with local ordinances.

Add one if...
You don't have one by your kitchen.

If you have an extinguisher in your unit, it's probably near the kitchen. That's because 41 percent of home fires start in the kitchen, according to the National Fire protection Association. But if your state is one of the square-footage states and your apartment building only has fire equipment in the hallways, it's a good idea to include a personal fire extinguisher near your kitchen area.

Add one more if...
Your apartment has two levels.

If there's an electrical fire in your lofted bedroom, you won't want to (or might not even be able to) head downstairs to grab the fire extinguisher. as a good rule of thumb, keep at least one fire extinguisher on every level of your home. A central location (like a hallway or common closet) is a good place.

Add one more if...
You have a heat or fire source far from your existing extinguishers.

If you've got a fireplace in the bedroom or a barbecue grill on the patio, it's smart to keep fire emergency tools nearby each one. If there's not already a fire extinguisher within a several paces' reach, you should install one.

(Top image: Flickr member abrinsky licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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