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Fire Extinguisher Installation

The Building Code of Australia Clause EP1.2 requires Portable Fire Extinguishers must be installed to the degree necessary to allow occupants to undertake initial attack on a fire appropriate to (a) the function or use of the building; and (b) any other fire safety systems installed in the building; and (c) the fire hazard.

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There are a huge variety of portable fire extinguishers for first attack fire fighting purposes.  Extinguishers are required by the Building Code of Australia in the performance requirement EP1.2 for all Class 2 to Class 9 buildings.

In simple terms, all commercial buildings will require the installation and ongoing maintenance of a portable fire extinguisher of some type and rating.

The selection, installation and ongoing maintenance needs to comply with the Building Code of Australia, Australian Standards and the directions of the relevant building surveyor and for alternate solutions a fire engineer.

Classification of Portable Fire Extinguishers

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Portable Fire Extinguishers are classified according to the class of fire in which the extinguisher can be used.  Some extinguishers are special purpose while others are multi-purpose.

  • Class A — carbonaceous solids, e.g. wood, paper and plastics
  • Class B — flammable and combustible liquids
  • Class C — flammable gases
  • Class E — fire involving energised electrical equipment
  • Class F — fire involving cooking oils and fats

In addition to the class of fire a portable fire extinguisher is suitable, the rating (effectiveness) of the fire extinguisher (sometimes and incorrectly referred to as the capacity of an extinguisher) is also an important factor in fire extinguisher selection.

Extinguisher Rating

The rating of a portable fire extinguisher is used to determine its relative effectiveness for a given class of fire.

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