At Jim’s Fire Safety, we get asked a lot of questions about fire extinguishers – so, we thought we’d answer your FAQs in a series of informative blog posts. The first round of questions is all about where fire extinguishers should be located in different environments.

If you have any other questions, get in touch with us, your local fire protection authority, or the Building Code of Australia.

Where are fire extinguishers located in hospitals?

According to the NSW Health Guide, the following range of fire extinguishers are the only types allowed to be located in patient/resident care areas:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Stored water (where fire hose reels are not installed)
  • 3M NOVEC 1230 FIRE PROTECTION FLUID (MRI units only)

According to DHS Victoria, portable fire extinguishers must be provided in accordance with the Building code of Australia and the AS 2444 standard. “They must be appropriately selected and positioned to address the likely types of fire, having regard for potential side effects.”

Signage must be provided so that staff members and patients can find the portable firefighting equipment during an emergency.

If staff members believe that the patient exhibits a potential to misuse a portable fire extinguisher, then they may be stored in a secure location. The DHS recommend locating extinguishers at staff workstations and near any potential fire hazards.

Where should fire extinguishers be stored on a boat?

According to Marine Safety Victoria, portable fire extinguishers are a requirement on all “powered recreational vessels”. If your boat has a stove, an electric motor, any gas supply, or fuel on board, you need to have a fire extinguisher.

  • If your vessel is less than 8m in length, you are required to have one fire extinguisher on board.
  • If your boat is 8-12m in length, you need two portable fire extinguishers.
  • Got a boat that’s more than 12m? Make sure you have three fire extinguishers on board.

Fire extinguishers should be secured near the high-risk areas so that they are accessible during an emergency. The device needs to be visible and easy to access. If you ask a professional to install your fire extinguisher, they will make sure it is in an ideal position.

Where should fire extinguishers be located in an office?

Fire extinguishers in buildings need to be installed according to the AS 2444-2001 standard for portable fire extinguishers and fire blankets (selection and location). According to this standard, the fire extinguisher should be fixed in a position that is at least 10 cm above the floor (and no more than 1.2m).

Fire extinguishers should be located near risk areas (for example, the kitchen area, or a place where appliances/equipment are concentrated). It is recommended that the extinguisher be located within a 15m radius of a high-risk area.

Where are fire extinguishers located in schools?

Fire extinguishers in schools, or buildings used for educational purposes, need to be installed according to the AS 2444-2001. To stop students tampering with the portable fire protection equipment, you may choose to install your extinguishers in a cabinet.

Do I need a fire extinguisher in my car?

If you use a vehicle for work, adequate risk assessment measures must be taken. This should include the provision of fire safety equipment.

WorkSafe Victoria has included fire extinguishers in their guidance for risk management. Under their recommendation, all work vehicles must have first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and emergency contact numbers.

If you decide to install fire protection equipment in a car, you need to adhere to the AS 2444-2001 standard for portable fire extinguishers and fire blankets (selection and location).

Do I need fire extinguishers on my farm?

CFA Victoria recommending having knapsack spray pumps on hand during the operation of farm equipment or machinery. If you have firefighting equipment on your farm, be sure to train your family and/or staff members on how to use it correctly and safely.


Want to know more about your fire extinguisher obligations? Get in touch with us today and take a look at our fire extinguisher maintenance services. Call us now on 131 546 or fill in the online form for a free quote.