Are Cabinets Required for Fire Extinguishers?
No, as a general rule, they are not, but a cabinet can offer several benefits:
International Building Code (IBC), International Fire Code (IFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) do not require portable fire extinguishers to be in a cabinet.
- An extinguisher in a cabinet can deter tampering and provide protection from the elements or corrosive coastal conditions.
- Allow the extinguisher to be recessed into a wall to meet ADA maximum 4” projection standards.
- NFPA 10 requires that fire extinguishers subject to physical damage should be protected.
Does the extinguisher have to be mounted on a wall bracket inside the cabinet?
No, they do not, except for bubble cabinets. Some 20 lb extinguishers must be mounted on the tub wall instead of sitting on the bottom of the cabinet in order to close the door. Read and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
What kind of handles, locks and latches can be used?
Is Lettering Required on the Cabinet?
Is a full glass door required for the cabinet?
A full glass or vertical glass panel in the door allows visualization of the extinguisher inside, and also complies with IBC. IBC requires additional signage if the extinguisher is not visible – as in the case of a solid door, or small view window.
Some areas may require a bubble type glazing in the cabinet instead of flat glazing so that the contents can be easily viewed.
What construction material is best for a cabinet?
For indoor use common materials types include steel, stainless steel and aluminum.
For exterior use, plastic, fiberglass, galvanneal steel and aluminum cabinets can prove to be more resistant to moisture and coastal conditions.
Do I need a special cabinet if my wall is fire-rated?
Per IBC Section 714, a cabinet opening that penetrates the wall must be installed so that the fire-resistance rating is not reduced. Fire-rated cabinets are designed, tested and labeled so that you can be assured that the integrity of the wall is maintained.