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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidelines

The following guidelines should be used when fire extinguisher cabinets are located in public accommodations and commercial facilities subject to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

WALL PROJECTIONS
ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) specify that objects projecting from walls with their leading edges between 27" and 80" above the finished floor shall protrude no more than 4" into walks, corridors, passageways, or aisles. Objects mounted with their leading edges at or below 27" may protrude any amount.

Most semi-recessed fire extinguisher cabinets have 2-1/2" return trims which comply with ADAAG. However, certain limited wall depths may require the specifier to consider return trims which project 4". If this occurs in a location subject to ADAAG and the cabinet must be mounted with its leading edge more than 27" above the finished floor, the 4" projecting trim must be specified with a recessed handle. Semi-recessed cabinets with 4-1/2" return trims do not comply with ADAAG, unless they can be mounted with their leading edges at or below 27" above the finished floor.

Surface-mounted cabinets project more than 4" from the wall. To comply with ADAAG, these units must be mounted with their leading edges at or below 27" from the finished floor. If this is not possible, these units may have to be changed to recessed or semi-recessed cabinets which do comply with ADAAG or relocated in areas not subject to ADAAG.

Recessed and some trimless "bubble" cabinets project no more than 4" from the finished wall and comply with ADAAG. Some semi-recessed and surface-mounted cabinets project more than 4" from the wall, and compliance with ADAAG depends on location and installation issues discussed in the above paragraph. Please refer to the "Fire Extinguisher Cabinets" profiles to identify these specific cabinets.

MOUNTING HEIGHTS
ADA Guidelines specify reach ranges for building occupants who require access to equipment such as fire extinguishers and other fire safety devices.

For an unobstructed approach, the maximum forward reach to this equipment (for example, the fire extinguisher handle) is 48" above the floor. The maximum side reach for such an approach is 54". The actual mounting heights for cabinets housing this equipment can be determined by reviewing the exact dimensions of the specified cabinet and the positioning of the fire equipment within that cabinet. Please note that these ADAAG reach range requirements fall with the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) guidelines. The NFPA guidelines state that the distance from the floor to the top of the fire extinguisher to be no more than 5 feet.

SIGNAGE AND OPERATING MECHANISMS
At the present time, raised and braille characters or other special ADA signage are not required for fire protection cabinets. In addition, the controls, handles, and other operating mechanisms for fire protection cabinet doors presently are not covered by ADA Accessibility Guidelines for hardware.


Please note that many ADA Guidelines for fire protection cabinets are not clearly defined and may be subject to change through the court system or other mediation methods. It is important to contact the manufacturer of the fire extinguisher cabinet for the most current information.

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