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...
Fire Safety Learning Center
Articles and other information related to fire safety equipment and procedures in Illinois.
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/.
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.
Customers often ask about the difference between the fire extinguishers sold at retail stores like Home Depot, Menards or Costco and those sold and installed by commercial fire safety companies. On the surface, residential units and commercial units can appear similar. To make matters more confusing, the fire extinguishers sold at retail stores may use the term "commercial" on the packaging. In reality, these types of fire extinguishers cannot be realistically used outside of personal use. (Inside your home, garage, etc.) Don't waste your money purchasing fire extinguishers from retail stores if your aim is to provide fire protection to a...
In order to legally service fire extinguishers within the State of Illinois, a state license is required. Obtaining this license requires a technician to pass a comprehensive exam that proves his or her competency of the information contained in NFPA 10. NFPA 10 is published by the National Fire Protection Agency and is the standard for portable fire extinguishers. These codes apply to the selection, installation, inspection, maintenance, and testing of portable extinguishing equipment. In short, this is the set of official rules that govern fire extinguishers. In addition to the state license, technicians must obtain an additional license from the...