April 2015

We’ve put together the top 10 questions about fire extinguisher codes and requirements


Is a service collar required?

Any extinguisher that requires the valve assembly to be removed requires a service collar.This accounts for most extinguishers. Pump tanks and cartridge or cylinder-operated do not require service collars by fire extinguisher codes.Internal examination, recharging, or hydro-static testing all require the valve to be removed.

Are vehicle brackets required?

The answer is yes. Approved, strap-type brackets are required in vehicles.However,they have to be specifically designed for that purpose

Where do extinguisher signs have to be posted?Fire Extinguisher Codes and Regulations

According to fire extinguisher codes, signs must be close to the extinguisher and visible from the path of travel.

Can you lock extinguisher cabinets?

Actually, you can. Fire extinguisher codes allow you to lock access to fire extinguishers if you are having problems with theft and vandalism. However, you must allow for a quick access method. One example of this would be a glass window.

Why is a new tamper seal installed annually?

There is a pull pin that must be checked for corrosion and proper placement. This ensures that it will work when it needs to. An examination is also needed for the service collar and lever.

Are there different pressure gauges for extinguishers?

You have to use only UL listed replacement gauges that match the original gauge.You have to match the charging pressure and make sure it is able to be used with the extinguisher valve body. The gauge also have to be marked for use with the extinguishing agent.

Do grills require fire extinguishers if they use charcoal?

Yes, they have to have a water extinguisher or a class K extinguisher.

How high can you install a fire extinguisher?

It depends on the weight of the extinguisher. If the gross weight is 40lbs or above, it can’t be installed no more that 5ft from the floor.If it weighs greater than that it has to be installed 3.5ft from the floor.

Is it a requirement that halon extinguishers be removed?

No, although halon is a CFC, it is still allowed to be used according to fire extinguisher codes. This is due there not being a cost effective, safe means of disposing it.For this reason, Halon 1211 is permitted to be installed and serviced.

Where can I go to get caught up on fire extinguisher codes?

NFPA 10 covers installation, inspection, and maintenance for Class A, B, C, D, and K extinguishers.



What Are Fusible Links?

Fusible links are devices in fire suppression systems designed to operate at certain selected temperatures.They release water or fire suppression chemicals when they heat up. They have several designs and models, fusible links can be heat activated at different temperatures.This makes them critical when building fire suppression systems for kitchens and restaurants.

Locations for Fusible Links in Restaurants

Fusible links are heat activated. So, it’s vital to place fusible links in the right places.Links should be placed in areas so that they will be exposed to the heat from a fire should one occur. In the path of exhaust air would be a prime location. However, it’s a requirement that at least one heat detection device is installed above each cooking appliance.It is also a requirement that one is installed in every exhaust duct opening.

How Links Work

Fusible links actually work by cable tension. The links are attached to cables. The tension in the cables is what keeps the system from releasing chemicals that suppress fire. When the links heat up to the designed temperature, the links break apart. This releases the tension in the cable. The release of this tension allows the chemical to flow from the nozzle.

Replacing Links

It’s important to know that these links should be regularly inspected and replaced. If they are not replaced or maintained, they could break at the wrong time. Worse, it could cause the links not to release at the moment a fire occurs. NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) maintains NFPA 96 which covers the installation, testing and maintenance of cooking equipment. In it, they require:

  • Maintenance every 6 months
  • Replacement of links every 6 months
  • A service tag on every link of the installation date and year of manufacture
  • Service tags should have the identity of the service technician
  • Fusible links need to be destroyed when removed


NFPA 96 also requires a maintenance certificate to the sent to local authorities. However, this can be mandated locally.