Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.2 Quality of the Outdoor and Indoor Environment

5.2.5 Fire Warning Systems Portable Fire Extinguishers

Content in the STANDARD was modified 01/23/2020.

Fire extinguishers should be installed along normal paths of travel, in locations that are visible, and where readily accessible in the event of a fire. If visual obstruction cannot be avoided, signs or other means should be provided to identify location of a fire extinguisher.1 Caregivers/teachers should have access to a fire extinguisher manual or National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 10 for instructions and cautions necessary to the installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of fire extinguishers.1


The fire extinguisher should be of the ABC type (see Rationale for an explanation of each class type). Size/number of fire extinguishers should be determined after a survey by the fire marshal or by an insurance company fire loss prevention representative.


Fire extinguishers should not be accessible to children.


Persons inspecting, maintaining, and recharging extinguishers should be certified. Inspections and maintenance should be completed annually and all records kept on file.

Each fire extinguisher should have a label or tag securely attached that identifies the following:

  • Month and year of completion
  • Person performing work
  • Name of agency performing work


Additional information on fire safety and extinguishers, such as maintenance intervals, can be found in NFPA Code 10. Refer to Standard Use of Fire Extinguishers for information on fire emergency action plans, evacuating children, and staff training requirements.
All fire extinguishers are labeled, using standard symbols, for the classes of fires on which they can be used. A red slash through any of the symbols tells you the extinguisher cannot be used on that class of fire. Class A designates ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, and paper. Class B designates flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, and oil-based paint. Class C designates energized electrical equipment, including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances. Refer to NFPA Code 10 for additional information.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Use of Fire Extinguishers Compliance with Fire Prevention Code Smoke Detection Systems and Smoke Alarms Availability of Reports on Inspections of Fire Protection Devices
  1. National Fire Protection Association. NFPA 10: Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers. Updated 2018. Accessed August 21, 2019


Content in the STANDARD was modified 01/23/2020.