ALL APARTMENT HOUSES WITH FOUR OR MORE UNITS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH FIRE EXTINGUISHERS BY STATE LAW. The law provides TWO options for apartment house owners. Apartment house owners can choose ONE OR THE OTHER. The Fire Safety Inspection Division recommends OPTION 1 because fire extinguishers are quickly available for use and are also protected from vandalism and theft.


A. One extinguisher in each apartment with a UL rating of at least 1A10BC.

B. The extinguisher should be mounted on the wall near the hallway door OR in the kitchen near the kitchen door.


A. One or more extinguishers in each hallway, within 50 feet of each apartment entrance with UL rating of at least 2A10BC.

B. The extinguisher(s) must be mounted on the wall so that the top is no more than five (5) feet above the floor. The extinguishers should be placed in cabinets to prevent theft. The cabinets cannot be locked unless each cabinet is equipped with a glass panel in each door and is provided with a striker bar that an occupant can use to break the panel.


One 2A10BC portable extinguisher must be provided within each 75 feet of travel distance in low and ordinary hazard occupancies. High hazard occupancies such as vehicle repair, flammable liquid storage, etc. shall be provided with a 2A10BC extinguisher every 50 feet of travel distance. Additional extinguishers may be required in hazardous locations.

Extinguishers must be mounted on the wall so that the top is no more than five feet above the floor and a striker bar must be provided if they are locked in a glass security cabinet. Extinguishers must be easily identified as to location and must be serviced and accessible at all times.


Purchase fire extinguishers from a fire extinguisher company. 


Uniform Fire Code Standard 10-1 (NFPA 10, Chapter 4) requires the following inspection and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers:

INSPECTION - "quick check" that a fire extinguisher is available and will operate.

  • Extinguishers shall be inspected at least once per month.
  • Access to, and visibility of, the extinguisher shall not be obstructed.
  • The operating instructions on the extinguisher nameplate shall be legible and shall face outward.
  • Any seals or tamper indicators that are broken or missing shall be replaced.
  • For water types without gauges, their fullness shall be determined by "weighing."
  • Any obvious physical damage, corrosion, leakage, or clogged nozzles shall be noted.
  • Pressure gauge readings when not in the operable range shall be noted.
  • Applicable corrective actions shall be taken when an inspection reveals that tampering has occurred, or that the extinguisher is damaged, impaired, leaking, under- or overcharged, or has obvious corrosion.
  • Personnel making inspections shall keep records for those extinguishers that were found to require corrective actions.
  • At least monthly, the date the inspection was performed and the initials of the person performing the inspection shall be recorded.

MAINTENANCE - "thorough check" of fire extinguisher by a trained manufacturer-certified servicer. (Check the “Yellow Pages” for vendors.)

  • Extinguishers shall be subjected to maintenance not more than one year apart or when specifically indicated by an inspection.
  • Maintenance shall be a thorough examination and any necessary repair or replacement of: (a) mechanical parts, (b) extinguishing agent, and (c) means of expelling the extinguishing agent.
  • Every six years, stored pressure extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test shall be emptied and subjected to the applicable maintenance procedures.
  • Labels or tags indicating the date of maintenance, whether or not recharging was done, and the identity of the maintenance person, shall be securely attached to each extinguisher. Labels shall not be placed on the front of the extinguisher.

Last Edited: February 18, 2022