OSHA requires fire extinguisher on all construction sites. One 2A fire extinguisher for every 3,000 square feet and a 10B within 50 feet of fuel storage. Additionally, a 2A is required next to stair cases on multi-level projects. On large jobs, it is easy to see how this can become a major expense.
One of the major issues on any construction site for the project manager is how to pay for all of these fire extinguishers. Many PMs look at buying the fire extinguishers that will be turned over to the owner at the end of the project, which are almost always ABC fire extinguishers. The only problem with this is that, during the course of construction, the majority of these fire extinguishers will be damaged, discharged (usually just for fun), painted by the workers just for the heck of it, or stolen from the job site. So, if you go this route, you are looking at purchasing more fire extinguishers than you need and also replacing a good amount of the extinguishers due to damage and vandalism. The ones that you can salvage to turn over to the owner will all need to be recharged and inspected.
What seems like a good money saving idea up front can turn into a major expense.
There is, however, a different solution to this problem. OSHA only requires a type A extinguisher on the jobsite. There is a product called a Stored Pressure Water Fire Extinguishers, which meet OSHA 2A requirements, and can be recharged and re-pressurized on the job site without the additional cost of having them serviced by a third party. These Fire Extinguishers can be purchased for around $100 (like this one here), versus what is typically found on the job site, the ABC 10lb which goes for anywhere between $60 - $120. That cost is before you include all of the hidden cost to recharge and re-certify the chemical fire extinguishers. To recharge a stored pressure water fire extinguisher,on the other hand, is very simple. You add regular water from a hose and then pressurize using an air compressor, both of which are on every construction site anyways.
On top of the maintenance benefits, these extinguishers can continue to be used on all of your future projects. So this type of fire extinguisher is a great one time expense. They also deter vandalism because they are less exciting to discharge, and because it is just plain water so the clean up is non existent.
If this is still too expensive for your job site, then you could always use the other option OSHA has available, which is to cut the top off of a 55 gallon drum fill it with water and have two fire pails. However, this might be a bit of a pain to have every 3,000 square feet.