While many building and fire codes mandated fire extinguishers based on occupancy classifications, they often were not included in NFPA 101. The rationale stemmed from NFPA 101’s focus on evacuating occupants rather than expecting them to tackle fires. However, the 2024 edition of NFPA 101 now mandates portable fire extinguishers for both new and existing assembly occupancies.
This amendment arose from research indicating that occupants tend to attempt extinguishing early-stage fires to prevent embarrassment, inconvenience, and property damage. The studies also highlighted strong motivations tied to concerns for individuals, pets, and belongings during a fire. Research reveals that individuals often try to contain small fires if they believe they can manage the hazard. In the absence of fire extinguishers, people resort to makeshift methods, which are significantly less safe.
Therefore, equipping the public with essential tools is crucial for successful fire management.
Learn more about the upcoming changes in the 2024 edition of NFPA 101.