Life Safety Codes

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Fire and Life Safety Codes Keep People Safe

Fire Extinguishers, Medical Oxygen, Pull Stations and more all have a myriad of codes and standards that apply.  Keeping all of these codes straight can be a challenge;  below are links to help.

Fire Extinguisher Life Safety Codes:

  • NFPA Codes
  • ICC Codes
  • OSHA Standards
  • The Joint Commission Standards 

NFPA 10 Allows For Electronic Monitoring of Fire Extinguishers

NFPA 10 2010 Chapter 7 Inspection, Maintenance, and Recharging of Portable Fire ExtinguishersNFPA_1

Fire extinguishers shall be manually inspected when initially placed in service.

Fire extinguishers shall be inspected either manually or by means of an electronic monitoring device/system at a minimum of 30-day intervals

Where electronic monitoring is used and the specific extinguisher cannot be verified electronically, the extinguisher shall be continuously monitored for location

Fire extinguishers shall be inspected at more frequent intervals when circumstances require.

Periodic inspection or electronic monitoring of fire extinguishers shall include a check of at least the following items:

(1) Location in designated place

(2) No obstruction to access or visibility

(3) Pressure gauge reading or indicator in the operable range or position

ICC Allows For Electronic Monitoring of Fire Extinguishers

  1. General requirements. Fire extinguishers shall be selected, installed and maintained in accordance with this section and NFPA 10.ICC

230-day inspections shall not be required and maintenance shall be permitted to be once every three years for dry-chemical or halogenated agent portable fire extinguishers that are supervised by a listed and approved electronic monitoring device, provided:

  1. Electronic monitoring shall confirm that extinguishers are properly positioned, properly charged, and unobstructed, and

         2.2 Loss of power or circuit continuity to the electronic monitoring device shall initiate a trouble signal, and

         2.3 The extinguishers shall be installed inside of a building or cabinet in a non-corrosive environment, and

         2.4 Electronic monitoring devices and supervisory circuits shall be tested every three-years when extinguisher maintenance is performed.

         2.5 A written log of required hydrostatic test dates for extinguishers shall be maintained by the owner to ensure that hydrostatic tests are conducted at the frequency required by NFPA 10.

Joint Commission Accepts Electronic Monitoring of Fire Extinguishers

EC 02.03.05 EP 15Joint_Commission

Standard EC.02.03.05 EP 25 requires hospitals to document maintenance, testing and inspection activities for fire alarm and water-based fire protection systems. Documentation should include: name of activity, date of activity, required frequency of the activity, name and contact information (including affiliation) of the individual who preformed the activity, NFPA standard(s) referenced for the activity and results of the activity.

The system describes appears to exceed the requirements of EC.02.03.05 EP 15 so we would be willing to accept the technology. This is also consistent with the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101-2000 1.5.1 and 1.5.2) allowing alternative systems.


Senior Engineer

Standards Interpretation Group

The Joint Commission

One Renaissance Boulevard

Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181



OSHA Requires Dilligent Inspections 

OSHA 1910.157osha-Logo


Inspection, maintenance and testing


The employer shall be responsible for the inspection, maintenance and testing of all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace.


Portable extinguishers or hose used in lieu thereof under paragraph (d)(3) of this section shall be visually inspected monthly.


The employer shall assure that portable fire extinguishers are subjected to an annual maintenance check. Stored pressure extinguishers do not require an internal examination. The employer shall record the annual maintenance date and retain this record for one year after the last entry or the life of the shell, whichever is less. The record shall be available to the Assistant Secretary upon request.

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