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Use of Portable Fire Extinguishers in Nightclubs: Workshop Summary.

pdf icon Use of Portable Fire Extinguishers in Nightclubs: Workshop Summary. (2410 K)
Grosshandler, W. L.

NISTIR 7419; 36 p. April 2007.

Use of Portable Fire Extinguishers in Nightclubs: Workshop Summary. Proceedings. January 17, 2007, Gaithersburg, MD, Grosshandler, W. L., Editor(s), 2007.


fire extinguishers; fire investigations; building fires; building codes; fire codes; standards; training; fire protection; effectiveness; fire spread; assemblies; technology utilization; maintenance; fire departments; NFPA 10; nightclubs; nightclubs


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) technical investigation into The Station nightclub fire produced ten recommendations to improve model building and fire codes, standards and practices (as they existed in February 2003), including a specific recommendation that a study be performed to determine the minimum number and appropriate placement (based upon the time required for access and application in a fully occupied building) of portable fire extinguishers for use in new and existing nightclubs, and the level of staff training required to ensure their proper use. In furtherance of this recommendation, NIST organized a workshop for interested parties to identify, among other things, the relevant issues that should be addressed in such a study. The workshop was held at NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on January 17, 2007, and was attended by representatives from the fire protection equipment industry, codes and standards developing organizations, building owners and managers, fire testing and equipment certifying laboratories, the fire services, and the federal government. The participants discussed the following topics: (*) whether or not reliable data exist on the effectiveness of portable fire extinguishers, (*) the level of portable fire extinguisher training that is needed and available, (*) the size of fire that is reasonable to expect a portable fire extinguisher to handle, (*) the appropriate spacing of fire extinguishers for nightclubs and other places of assembly and (*) the role that new technology might play in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of maintenance of portable fire extinguishers. Actions are proposed in this summary for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council (ICC), for NIST and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), for the fire protection equipment industry, for the fire service, and for the end users to help provide answers to the above five questions.

Selected Papers

Use of Portable Fire Extinguishers in Nightclubs.
Grosshandler, W. L. Station Nightclub Fire: Impetus for Workshop on the Use of Portable Fire Extinguishers.
Grosshandler, W. L. NFPA Perspective on Extinguishers.
Conroy, M. Fire Extinguishers: A Necessary Component in Balanced Fire Protection.
Voelkert, J. C. UL Fire Test Requirements: Rating and Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishers ANSI/UL711.
Laverick, G. Portable Fire Extinguishers in Occupational Safety and Health.
Chibbaro, M.