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Almost all fires are small in their incipient stage and can be put out quickly if the proper firefighting equipment is available and the person discovering the fire has been properly trained. Most employers turn to portable fire extinguishers for fighting incipient stage fires. The requirements for portable fire extinguishers in the general industry are governed by OSHA and are located in 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.157. The intent is to minimize employee exposure to hazardous situations involving fire and to provide for fire protection equipment and services for the safe evacuation or rescue of employees. Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, NFPA 10, offers supplementary guidance.

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