Fire extinguisher obligation for businesses

In Germany, the fire extinguisher obligation only applies to workplaces. However, it is advisable to have a fire extinguisher in the house.

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11 March 2022 Fire Safety

In Germany, fire extinguishers are only compulsory for businesses in accordance with the Workplace Ordinance. There is currently no fire extinguisher obligation for private households. However, fire extinguishers are also useful in private households or vehicles because they are an effective means of dealing with incipient fires.

Fire extinguisher obligation for businesses

The workplace regulation ASR A2.2 specifies the obligation and number of fire extinguishers for businesses. In most companies, fire extinguishers for fire classes A and B, i.e. powder, water or foam extinguishers are used. Special fire extinguishers must be used for special fire risks, e.g. metal or grease fires. The number of fire extinguishers depends on the fire hazard, room use and floor space of the workplace. The number of extinguishing agent units (German abbreviation: LE) per square metre, which compares the extinguishing capacity of different fire extinguishers, is also decisive. Fire extinguishers for commercial use must cover at least 6 LE. For the specific calculation of the number of fire extinguishers, the following are relevant:

  • Floor area of the workplace or the area to be protected.
  • Fire hazard according to ASR A2.2
  • Location of fire extinguishers taking into account the walking distance, i.e. maximum 20 metres for normal fire hazards or 5-10 metres for increased fire hazards.
  • Size and type of fire extinguisher (incl. LE)

Based on the above information, the type and number of fire extinguishers can be determined using the tables in ASR A2.2. CWS Fire Safety offers a wide range of fire extinguishers. Our experts will be happy to advise you on the correct number and choice.

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Example calculation for number of fire extinguishers


An office building with a floor area of 800m² and a normal fire hazard (without electrical systems worthy of protection such as computer servers) requires 30 LE according to ASR A2.2. This means that, for example, five foam extinguishers with 6 LE each or 3 fire extinguishers with 10 LE each could be used, provided that the locations of the fire extinguishers comply with the maximum distance of 20m.

The CWS experts will be happy to advise you on the correct number and choice of extinguisher. In addition, our service technicians also carry out fire extinguisher maintenance.

Fire extinguisher obligation in the house

A fire extinguisher in the house is not compulsory, but it is recommended for fighting incipient fires. For example, a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage or workshop can contain an incipient fire, prevent it from spreading and prevent further fire damage. For private households, a foam extinguisher is often a good choice because it is less dirty. The extinguishing agent of a foam extinguisher can be removed easily and without residues.

Important: Foam and water extinguishers must not be used in a grease fire. A special grease fire extinguisher is recommended for use in the kitchen.

In addition, fire extinguishers in private households must also be serviced regularly to maintain their functionality.

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Don't forget fire extinguisher maintenance!

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All fire extinguishers that are required by law must be checked at regular intervals (max. every 2 years) by competent inspectors to ensure that they are ready for use. This is also recommended for private fire extinguishers. Only regularly and professionally tested fire extinguishers in accordance with DIN 14406 guarantee successful fire protection in an emergency.

Has it been more than 2 years since the fire extinguisher maintenance in your company?
Contact the CWS Fire Safety experts and arrange a maintenance appointment.

The right choice of fire extinguisher

Not every fire extinguisher is suitable for every location and purpose. The fire classes and the place of use (indoors or outdoors) are decisive for the choice of fire extinguisher. The powder extinguisher is the all-rounder of fire extinguishers, as it can be used for many fire classes and in a wide range of ambient temperatures. However, it leads to a high level of contamination and the powder may endanger electronic equipment. As a result, it is less suitable for indoor use. Foam or water extinguishers are recommended for indoor use because of the reduced contamination.

Learn more about CWS fire extinguishers!

Download the free overview of fire classes for fire extinguishers to help you choose the right extinguisher.

Overview of fire classes for fire extinguishers

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