Fire Safety Learning Center

Articles and other information related to fire safety equipment and procedures in Illinois.

Fire Extinguishers: Types and Uses

It is not uncommon to see fire extinguishers in homes, businesses and public places. The (typically) red, cylindrical device is ubiquitous in our world, sometimes encased behind safety glass. But how much do we actually know about them? If faced with a fire, would you know how to correctly operate a fire extinguisher under duress? The reality is that there are many different types of fire extinguishers with different uses. Utilizing the wrong type of extinguisher in a fire situation can be deadly.  Water-based extinguishers are usually expelled in the form of foam or mist. They should only be used...
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Servicing requirements for fire extinguishers in Chicago

These rules apply to ABC dry chemical extinguishers only. NFPA 10 defines the maintenance procedures required for portable fire extinguishers. All multi-purpose ABC extinguishers must have maintenance performed on an annual basis. After performing these steps, the technician will apply a new colored tag (Including his or her license information) to the extinguisher to clearly specify that maintenance has been performed. Every six years the fire extinguisher must be completely torn down (taken apart), recharged and rebuilt. During this process, key parts within the extinguisher are replaced. A special maintenance sticker is added to the extinguisher cylinder to record the date...
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Fire Extinguisher requirements for condo buildings in Chicago

Unless your Association is both under three stories in height and has a total floor area of less than 3,000 square feet, your building must have portable fire extinguishers. (Very few condo buildings will have a total area of less than 3,000 square feet) For most condo buildings, determining the number and type of fire extinguishers required to protect the common areas is fairly simple. Typically, you will need one, multi-purpose (ABC) dry chemical fire extinguisher on each floor of the building. The extinguisher would normally be installed in the hallway where it can be easily accessed by residents. NFPA 10...
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Section of the Municipal Code of Chicago related to fire extinguishers

The requirements for fire extinguishers are detailed in sections 15-16-620 through 15-16-700. The code refers to NFPA 10 for specific governance. NFPA 10 is a set of standards related to fire extinguishers, published by the National Fire Protection Association, and is generally used as the "rule book" for fire extinguishers in the United States. The Chicago Municipal Code is available online here: http://www.amlegal.com/codes/client/chicago_il/.
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Expected Life of a Commercial Fire Extinguisher

The good news about commercial-grade fire extinguishers is that they can service your building for decades without needing to be replaced. These fire extinguishers must be maintained on a scheduled basis as defined on our fire extinguisher overview page. By following the required maintenance you can reasonably expect your extinguishers to last 10-20 years or longer. You can extend the life of your extinguishers by installing them within security cabinets. Not only do cabinets greatly enhance the visual appearance of your common areas, but they also limit the amount of wear-and-tear on the extinguishers.
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