Do Landlords Have To Provide Fire Extinguishers?

Last Updated: October 12, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

Most areas in the United States do not require fire extinguishers for single- or two-family homes. However, most states do require fire extinguishers for multi-unit properties.

Fire Extinguishers in Single- and Two-Family Properties

Most jurisdictions do not require fire extinguishers for single-family and two-family homes. There are no such requirements at the statewide level. Local jurisdictions may have stricter rules, although this isn’t common. For example, the fire code of Kalamazoo, Michigan requires extinguishers in all residential dwellings.

Fire Extinguishers in Multi-Unit Properties

Most states require landlords to provide fire extinguishers in multi-unit properties (anything more than 2 units). Some states require fire extinguishers only in common areas, while others require them both in common areas and inside dwelling units.

There are two standards for fire protection in the United States, the NFPA and the IFC. The IFC standard is slightly stricter and requires extinguishers inside dwelling units.

Different cities in the same state may have somewhat different requirements for fire extinguishers. For example, in Illinois certain “home rule” communities can adopt their own separate fire codes.

Consequences for Failing To Provide Fire Extinguishers

Landlords don’t usually have to provide extinguishers for single- and two-family properties. Where required (for example, on multi-unit properties), failure to provide extinguishers is often no more than a minor violation. State laws vary widely, but if a landlord doesn’t provide fire extinguishers after proper notice from the tenant, the following remedies often are available:

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