Fire code question

Old 06-27-16, 07:12 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: united states
Posts: 223
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Fire code question

I look about and didnt really see a proper place for this thread, if a mod can think of a better one feel free to move it.

16k sq ft commercial building. 16 ft ceilings. its a haunted house built from metal stud and fire rated plywood with a sprinkler system so it should be nearly impossible for it to catch fire but... still need extinguishers. is there any way of telling how many without asking the fire inspector. to me if I ask it gives him a reason to tell me more than required making me spend more money. so is there a general rule of how many might be needed for a business?
Old 06-27-16, 07:16 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,715
Received 1,616 Votes on 1,488 Posts
Not really sure where it's best to be put. Here is ok for now.

There needs to be one by every entrance/exit.
It doesn't matter what's written in the code..... it all comes down to the AHJ. (authority having jurisdiction).... your inspector. He will determine where they should be. Sometimes they err on the side of caution and have extras installed but their word is law.

You are definitely ahead of the game with sprinklers. I've worked in a few haunted houses in the past that were closed due to the cost of sprinklers.

I'll never forgot the fire they had in the haunted house at Great Adventure in Jackson NJ.
Old 06-27-16, 07:25 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,208
Received 371 Votes on 321 Posts
I may also depend on occupancy. As PJ said, the AHJ's rule is law. If you ask him/her, and you do what they want, that will make them happy. It shows you are not just trying to skimp but want to do it right.
Old 06-27-16, 08:38 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,581
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I'm reminded of a company I worked for. They installed fire extinguishers at each exit to meet code. At the employee safety meeting to explain their use one of the "good old girls" yelled out, "he** with the extinguisher and putting the fire out. I get to an exit I'm getting my a** out of here".

On a serious note they should be at the exits so anyone using one has a clear escape route if it fails to work.

Last edited by ray2047; 06-28-16 at 11:11 AM.
Old 06-27-16, 09:04 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 551
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
From experience, in a 20 story office building, with a sprinkler system, one extinguisher was required, on each floor, near the elevators. I was sure that they were going to disappear but the didn't. How about that?
Old 06-28-16, 12:26 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: united states
Posts: 223
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
well there is a main drag down the middle so im hoping thats all thats required is a few there. everywhere else is accessible by customers which i wouldnt think is good when having a few thousand people through a night some drunk... hopefully the inspector will be understandable about that.
Old 06-28-16, 03:52 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10,215
Received 376 Votes on 341 Posts
I doubt inspector would add more than needed. After all he making more work for himself (or inspection company) come yearly inspection time.
Old 06-28-16, 07:02 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,642
Received 103 Votes on 88 Posts
My office is 2500 square feet and we just have one. Fire department stops by a couple times a year and no one has ever suggested we need more.

As to placement, I have them in my house in the places farthest away from the exits, thinking you would use the extinguisher to get to the exit.
Old 06-28-16, 10:18 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,166
Received 63 Votes on 53 Posts
Having been a fire fighter for 12 years & having owned a small, local, fire protection equipment business for 6 years on the side while I was at the fire department, the technical answer is not going to be easy to answer without being there & knowing the specifics involved. I should also note that part of our job at the fire department was to do local fire safety code inspections on our own & go with the State Fire Marshals Office when they worked our parish (county) on new construction or new business', etc.

One by each door is only a start if the building is very small & with a low fire hazzard etc could actually be the case but not in your case as you have explained it. There are hundreds of specifics to be considered. If the building only has one door for example, obviously, one fire extinguisher aint gonna get it. So, the number of exits is a factor, as is the fire hazzard rating not only related to what "materials" (haunted house) you are putting in there but the building construction, the number/size/rating of occupancy, etc, etc. The list goes on.
Then there is what type fire extingusher/agent you will be required to have. ABC, BC, Purple K etc, etc (dry powder), or CO2 (dry ice), Halon & which type Halon, again, the list goes on & on, depending on the need & codes. Then come the size of fire extinguishers that are required. Obviously, you wont be able to use a small 2 1/2 lb fire extinguisher like you have in your fishing boat in there.... even having 200 of them wont get it. So, whether you need a 5 lb, 10 lb, 15 lb, or 20 lb & how many of those is to be determined based on hundreds of calculations.

The best option for you is to read up on the National Fire Protection Association section 10 (NFPA 10). That's what the inspector is going to use as a base because its the national codes. While local laws, ordinance may have stricter laws & rules, this is the national standard that most municipalities & state agencies us.
NFPA 10: Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
You can find the NFPA 10 codes easily by googling it on the internet.

In order for you to do this without the aid of your governing authority, you will need to read this, get your building size, construction, occupying materials, number of occupants allowed by the governing codes, number of exits, etc, etc.

Now, I know that really & truly, this ain't what you want to hear. I know you just wanted a simple.... you need 5 fire extinguishers but, like anything else in today's society (government) it ain't that simple.

While I also understand that you don't want to be taken advantage of & while you don't want to buy more than you need, in my experience, the state fire Marshall (who is probably going to be your final guy because its a new business), city code enforcement or local fire department, they are going to get all the info that I have discussed here, get the NFPA 10 codes & make a determination based on those codes.

The person you do NOT want to come out & advise you is the local fire extinguisher sales & service, retail business as they have everything to gain by insisting that you buy more equipment "to be safe". However, generally speaking, the Deputy State Fire Marshall doesn't have anything to gain personally nor officewise by making you buy more equipment. He only wants the codes enforced to code.... nothing more. Its no skin off his nose if you buy more equipment than codes are mandating. Its just not "likely" that a Deputy State Fire Marshal has ties to, & gets a kick back from, every local independent fire extinguisher service in every town in the state.

Good luck... Hope this helps.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: