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Articles and other information related to fire safety equipment and procedures in Illinois.
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Do Chicago Apartments Need to Have Fire Extinguishers?

Apartment Building

Apartment fires can be dangerous, damaging property and threatening life. No one knows when a fire may break out and become uncontrollable. In 2022, there were over 1,353,500 calls for apartment fires reported.

These apartment fires can lead to severe damage if not controlled timely, and that’s where fire extinguishers can help control the fires.

Therefore, ensuring fire extinguisher maintenance is a must for landlords. There are further legal details that property owners and tenants must know about, so we’ll discuss all of that in this article ahead.

Do Chicago Apartments need to have Fire Extinguishers?

According to the Fire Safety and the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance, there are certain rules about Chicago fire safety that all property owners must follow at all times. Apartments over three stories and 3,000 square feet or more must have fire extinguishers available.

The standard size requirements rule out most condo buildings because most of these properties are less than 3,000 square feet. Determining the number of fire extinguishers required within the property is fairly simple for property owners.

For starters, all the properties have an all-purpose fire extinguisher, also called an ABC fire extinguisher. This extinguisher has dry chemicals, making it the best option for putting out fires in closed spaces like apartments.

In most cases, the landlords must place the extinguishers in the hallway, so every resident in the apartment can access them quickly in time of need. These fire extinguishers should never be in the lock, as they could increase the chances of fire spreading because of fire extinguisher inaccessibility.

The fire extinguishers should be placed every 75 feet on the same floor as per the NFPA 10 restrictions. It is a balanced distance, ensuring all tenants have quicker access to the property in their time of need.

Should the Fire Extinguishers be in Apartments only?

One of the biggest reasons for apartment fires is fires that start on the lower ground levels of the building. Therefore, by law, all landlords must provide separate fire extinguishers in the garages and basement areas.

 It’s because these spaces are often far from the main building, making it challenging to find a fire extinguisher. Ensuring the fire extinguisher servicing before placing it in the basement or the garage also falls under the property owner’s responsibility.

Additionally, if the apartment has an elevator, pump room, or other electric room, they must have separate fire extinguishers. However, the property owners or the association are not responsible for providing fire extinguishers inside the units. The residents should ensure indoor fire safety using the guidelines provided by the fire department.

The coverage provided by the association or the landlord should be in the common places only. Once the common spaces are covered, the tenants or apartment residents can protect their units.

Bottom Line

Fire safety concerns are a major consideration in Chicago since apartment fires can occur anytime. Property owners must keep the legal requirements for fire extinguishers in mind to prevent apartment fires at all times. Connected Fire Safety Services can guide you on fire safety if you are unsure and need more guidance.

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