Tower Safety

Fire Safety / Fire Extinguisher Awareness

  • Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
  • Subpart:
    1926 Subpart F
  • Subpart Title:
    Fire Protection and Prevention
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Fire protection.
  • GPO Source:

General requirements.

The employer shall be responsible for the development of a fire protection program to be followed throughout all phases of the construction and demolition work, and he shall provide for the firefighting equipment as specified in this subpart. As fire hazards occur, there shall be no delay in providing the necessary equipment.
Access to all available firefighting equipment shall be maintained at all times.
All firefighting equipment, provided by the employer, shall be conspicuously located.
All firefighting equipment shall be periodically inspected and maintained in operating condition. Defective equipment shall be immediately replaced.
As warranted by the project, the employer shall provide a trained and equipped firefighting organization (Fire Brigade) to assure adequate protection to life.

Water supply.

A temporary or permanent water supply, of sufficient volume, duration, and pressure, required to properly operate the firefighting equipment shall be made available as soon as combustible materials accumulate.
Where underground water mains are to be provided, they shall be installed, completed, and made available for use as soon as practicable.

Portable firefighting equipment -


Fire extinguishers and small hose lines.

A fire extinguisher, rated not less than 2A, shall be provided for each 3,000 square feet of the protected building area, or major fraction thereof. Travel distance from any point of the protected area to the nearest fire extinguisher shall not exceed 100 feet.
One 55-gallon open drum of water with two fire pails may be substituted for a fire extinguisher having a 2A rating.

A ½-inch diameter garden-type hose line, not to exceed 100 feet in length and equipped with a nozzle, may be substituted for a 2A-rated fire extinguisher, providing it is capable of discharging a minimum of 5 gallons per minute with a minimum hose stream range of 30 feet horizontally. The garden-type hose lines shall be mounted on conventional racks or reels. The number and location of hose racks or reels shall be such that at least one hose stream can be applied to all points in the area.

One or more fire extinguishers, rated not less than 2A, shall be provided on each floor. In multistory buildings, at least one fire extinguisher shall be located adjacent to stairway.
Extinguishers and water drums, subject to freezing, shall be protected from freezing.
A fire extinguisher, rated not less than 10B, shall be provided within 50 feet of wherever more than 5 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or 5 pounds of flammable gas are being used on the jobsite. This requirement does not apply to the integral fuel tanks of motor vehicles.
Carbon tetrachloride and other toxic vaporizing liquid fire extinguishers are prohibited.
Portable fire extinguishers shall be inspected periodically and maintained in accordance with Maintenance and Use of Portable Fire Extinguishers, NFPA No. 10A-1970.
Fire extinguishers which have been listed or approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, shall be used to meet the requirements of this subpart.

Table F-1 may be used as a guide for selecting the appropriate portable fire extinguishers.


Fire hose and connections.


One hundred feet, or less, of 1½-inch hose, with a nozzle capable of discharging water at 25 gallons or more per minute, may be substituted for a fire extinguisher rated not more than 2A in the designated area provided that the hose line can reach all points in the area.

If fire hose connections are not compatible with local firefighting equipment, the contractor shall provide adapters, or equivalent, to permit connections.
During demolition involving combustible materials, charged hose lines, supplied by hydrants, water tank trucks with pumps, or equivalent, shall be made available.

Fixed firefighting equipment -


Sprinkler protection.

If the facility being constructed includes the installation of automatic sprinkler protection, the installation shall closely follow the construction and be placed in service as soon as applicable laws permit following completion of each story.
During demolition or alterations, existing automatic sprinkler installations shall be retained in service as long as reasonable. The operation of sprinkler control valves shall be permitted only by properly authorized persons. Modification of sprinkler systems to permit alterations or additional demolition should be expedited so that the automatic protection may be returned to service as quickly as possible. Sprinkler control valves shall be checked daily at close of work to ascertain that the protection is in service.

Standpipes. In all structures in which standpipes are required, or where standpipes exist in structures being altered, they shall be brought up as soon as applicable laws permit, and shall be maintained as construction progresses in such a manner that they are always ready for fire protection use. The standpipes shall be provided with Siamese fire department connections on the outside of the structure, at the street level, which shall be conspicuously marked. There shall be at least one standard hose outlet at each floor.


Fire alarm devices.

An alarm system, e.g., telephone system, siren, etc., shall be established by the employer whereby employees on the site and the local fire department can be alerted for an emergency.
The alarm code and reporting instructions shall be conspicuously posted at phones and at employee entrances.

Fire cutoffs.

Fire walls and exit stairways, required for the completed buildings, shall be given construction priority. Fire doors, with automatic closing devices, shall be hung on openings as soon as practicable.
Fire cutoffs shall be retained in buildings undergoing alterations or demolition until operations necessitate their removal.

[44 FR 8577, Feb. 9, 1979; 44 FR 20940, Apr. 6 1979, as amended at 58 FR 35162; June 30, 1993; 61 FR 31427, June 20, 1996]