The current edition of this standard is NFPA 10 2018 – Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, 2018 edition. The range of guidelines addressed within 2018 NFPA 10 is wide, with each provision encompassing the expansive and comprehensive concern of fire prevention.
Fire extinguishers are designed to release a chemical agent that can put out fires in their infancy, just after ignition.
Because of their unequivocal importance, employers must provide portable fire extinguishers in their workplace, mounted, located, and identified for use by employees, in accordance with OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.157 .
Eliminating a fire at its source before it reaches near unrelenting levels is crucial. Therefore, confidence that fire extinguishers are available and can function reliably is a primary consideration in preventing property loss, injury, and even death.
This type of warranty stems from the proper maintenance, inspection, selection, installation, recharging, and testing of portable fire extinguishers, a series of activities that have long been aided by the use of NFPA 10.
For example, the document states that fire extinguishers, as well as Class D extinguishing agents, must be inspected at least once a month.
Who is NFPA 10 2018 for?
In general, the 2018 NFPA 10 is intended for persons responsible for selecting, purchasing, installing, approving, listing, designing, and maintaining Class D portable fire extinguishers and extinguishing agents, and provides guidance for interests in connection with these associated but that the fire extinguishers that remain in use are of the highest quality and can be used properly.
At the core of this shared knowledge and guidance is fire classification.
Different fires are the result of various sources and therefore need to be managed accordingly.
Types of Fires according to NFPA 10 2018
According to the 2018 NFPA 10, there are five main classes of fire:
- Class A – The result of common combustible materials, such as wood, cloth, paper, and many plastics.
- Class B – Burn in flammable liquids, combustible liquids, petroleum greases, oils, alcohols, and flammable gases.
- Class C – Involve energized electrical equipment.
- Class D – Fires in combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium, and potassium.
- Class K – Cooking appliance fires involving combustible cooking media, such as vegetable or animal oils and fats. Each class of fire is effectively extinguished by a class of extinguisher to which it correlates, i.e. extinguishers with a Class A rating are effective against fires involving paper, wood and cloth. However, there is some variation on this, as addressed in NFPA 10-2018.
Please note that fire extinguishers are a logical part of any fire safety plan or practice, and therefore guidelines for their use and location are also addressed in other standards developed and published by the National Fire Protection Association. Fires (NFPA).
Fire extinguishers, at least in some rudimentary form, have been recognized and used as the initial line of defense against erupting flames for centuries, so they have always rewarded their users with some level of safety.
However, as with virtually everything else produced and standardized, fire extinguishers have expanded in quality as time has gone on. Some of the earliest examples of what would be considered a fire extinguisher simply squirted water.
Over the past century, during which NFPA 10 has been constantly revised, the acceptable materials used for fire extinguishers have changed and been displaced with knowledge gained over the years.
In fact, NFPA 10-2018 lists any fire extinguisher manufactured before 1955, as well as pre-1971 pressurized water extinguishers, as obsolete no matter the circumstances.
It also includes a variety of other types on its now obsolete list, including extinguishers that use soda acid, chemical foam, carbon tetrachloride, methyl bromide, and chlorobromomethane (CBM), among others.
As the needs for fire extinguishers have changed over the years in response to growing industry needs and increased awareness, this standard has undergone changes from the previous revision.
In addition to expanding the scope of the standard, 2018 NFPA 10 contains the following changes:
- Clarified provisions for electronic monitoring, obsolete fire extinguishers, fire extinguishers installed in areas with oxidizers, fire extinguisher signs, and fire extinguisher mounting equipment and cabinets.
- The maintenance of hose stations that are used in place of fire extinguishers is now addressed.
- The fire classification marking system is expanded to include markings for Class AC and Class AK-rated fire extinguishers while removing information on obsolete equipment.
NFPA 10 2018: Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, 2018 Edition is available on the ANSI web store.
The 2018 edition of NFPA 10 in Spanish includes clarifications for the provisions on:
- electronic monitoring
- obsolete fire extinguishers
- Fire extinguishers are installed in areas with oxidants
- fire extinguisher signs
- Equipment and cabinets for mounting fire extinguishers
Other recent changes expand the scope of the standard:
A new requirement addresses the maintenance of hose stations that are used in lieu of fire extinguishers. The fire classification marking system is expanded to include markings for Class AC and Class AK certified fire extinguishers, while information on obsolete equipment is removed.
Protect yourself from small fires with the new Spanish edition of NFPA 10, your all-in-one resource for portable fire extinguishers.
Whether you’re a service provider, facility manager or owner, or technician, you can depend on this important standard to find current, comprehensive rules for the distribution, replacement, maintenance, operation, and inspection of equipment – as well as for its use test and recharge.
NFPA 10 2018 edition in English and Spanish can be purchased in the NFPA Catalog.
- Types-of-Fire-Extinguishers: Felipe Argüello