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U.S. Department of Labor

Mine Safety and Health Administration
201 12th Street South, Suite 401
Arlington, VA 22202-5450
EFFECTIVE DATE:  March 18, 2011 EXPIRATION DATE:  03/31/2013


                     Administrator for
                     Coal Mine Safety and Health

SUBJECT:     Fire Extinguishers with a 2-A:10-B:C Rating

This Procedure Instruction Letter (PIL) applies to all mine operators and independent contractors using fire extinguishers with a rating of at least 2-A:10-B:C by the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) or Factory Mutual Research Corp. and to all Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) enforcement personnel.

This PIL provides instructions on portable, multipurpose dry chemical fire extinguishers under 30 C.F.R. 75.1100-1(e).

Background Questions have been raised as to whether the Red Line A-5 Fire Extinguishers manufactured by Ansul, Incorporated, comply with section 75.11001-1 (e). These multipurpose dry-chemical fire extinguishers contain a nominal 4.25 pounds dry powder and have a UL rating of at least 2-A:10-B:C.

Section 75.1100-1 (e) providers that multipurpose dry-chemical fire extinguisher having a rating of 2-A:10-B:C contain a nominal weight of 5 pounds of dry powder agent. The term "nominal" is generally defined as "approximate." Because the standard providers a weight criteria that is only an approximation, the overriding purpose of the standard is the ability to extinguish a fire of a specified type and size.

Procedure Instruction
A fire extinguisher with a 2-A:10-B:C designation that contains approximately 4.25 pounds of dry powder meets the intent of the standard and provides an acceptable level of protection.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, 30 C.F.R. 75.1100-1(e).

Internet Availability
This instruction letter may be viewed on the Internet by accessing the MSHA Home Page at ( and then choosing "Compliance Info" and Procedures Instruction Letters.

Filing Instructions
This instruction letter should be filed behind the tab marked "Procedure Instruction Letters" in the binder for Program Policy Handbooks and Procedure Instruction Letters.

Issuing Offices and Contact Persons
Coal Mine Safety and Health, Division of Safety
Charles Carpenter, (202) 693-9532

All Program Policy Manual Holders
All Special Interest Groups
All Underground Mine Operators
All Underground Mine Independent Contractors