I recently had a problem with a faulty light switch that had me worried about my townhome having an electrical fire. When I contacted the housing manager about it, he fixed the faulty switch, but told me that he doesn't provide fire extinguishers because they're too expensive and maintaining them is too much of a hassle.

Given that the building is over 30 years old and I've now had two electrical problems in as many months, I'm not going to risk my family's safety, so I bought a fire extinguisher last night. But I had always assumed that landlords were required to provide at least one fire extinguisher for residential dwellings. Is this not the case?

Are there any Utah or federal laws about whether a landlord is required to provide and maintain some means of fire suppression? Maybe in relation to renter's or property insurance?

  • To clarify, the townhomes in this complex are 3- or 4-dwelling buildings.
    – Mar
    Dec 7, 2016 at 1:15

1 Answer 1


Utah uses the IFC Code with modifications (none of which apper relevant based on a seach for "extinguisher"). You describe your premisis as a "townhome" which suggests it is a free-standing house, if so the classification of your building would appear to be R-3 and fire extinguishers are not requires in that classification. If it is instead an apartment (more than 2 dwellings in the same building) then it is R-2 and fire extinguishers are required and would normally be the responsibility of the building owner.

Notwithstanding, a building built in the 1980s should not have electrical faults: You might wish to persuade the landlord to conduct an audit of the electrical system since he will be out of pocket if the building burns down.

  • 1
    This comment has nothing to do with the law, but have you been trained in the use of that fire extinguisher? Do not attempt to tackle anything bigger than a waste-paper basket fire. Anything else: "Get out, stay out, call the big red truck out". Beware: I was recently involved in a kitchen fire, and I spent far too long inside trying to tackle it - don't! Dec 7, 2016 at 14:14
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    You would have been much better off spending your money on a smoke alarm. That will allow you and your family to get out when an electrical fault starts a fire while you are asleep. Dec 7, 2016 at 14:15
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    @MartinBonner a waste paper basket is the worst thing to use an extinguisher on if you don't know how - you end up with burning paper all over the room.
    – Dale M
    Aug 12, 2017 at 21:20

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