Fire Extinguisher Cabinet Labeling

Q: Our hospital was surveyed recently and one of our deficiencies was that our fire extinguisher cabinets were not labeled. I can find nothing in the Life Safety Code stating this as a requirement. Could you please assist in this matter? Also, if labeling is required would the wall mounted “tent” type placards that are hung on the wall above the cabinets be acceptable?

A: Yes, NFPA 10 (1998 edition), section 1-6.12 says:

Fire extinguishers mounted in cabinets or wall recesses shall be placed so that the fire extinguisher operating instructions face outward. The location of such fire extinguishers shall be marked conspicuously.

Sections and of the 2000 Life Safety Code reference NFPA 10 as a requirement for fire extinguishers. So the expectation is you need to comply with NFPA 10.

NFPA 10 does not specify how the fire extinguisher cabinet is to be marked, but it must be marked conspicuously. A 3-deminsional arrow (tent-card style) certainly meets this requirement, but other types of markings do as well, such as painting all extinguisher cabinets red. Most authorities will accept whatever means you choose to use, as long as all the extinguisher cabinets are marked the same way, for continuity.