person installing hand sanitizer dispenser on wall

Proper Placement of Hand-Sanitizer Dispensers

The California Fire Code has specific requirements when it comes to placing hand-sanitizer dispensers inside or outside a facility.

UC Davis Fire Prevention Services is available to assist with ensuring hand-sanitizer dispensers are installed in a code-compliant manner in rooms and corridors. 

  • Fire Prevention Services does not recommend the use of aerosol liquid dispensers.
  • Fire Prevention Services must approve placement of free-standing dispensers both inside and outside of a facility.

Hand-Sanitizer Dispenser Installation Codes

  • Installation of wall-mounted hand-sanitizer dispensers 
  • Use of hand-sanitizer dispensers containing alcohol-based hand rubs (classified as Class I or II liquids), shall be in accordance with all of the following:

    The maximum capacity of each dispenser shall be 68 ounces (2 L).

    The minimum separation between dispensers shall be 48 inches (1219 mm).

    The dispensers shall not be installed closer than 1 inch (25 mm) to an electrical receptacle, switch, appliance, device or other ignition source.

    Dispensers shall be mounted so that the bottom of the dispenser is not less than 42 inches (1067 mm) and not more than 48 inches (1219 mm) above the finished floor.

    Dispensers shall not release their contents except when the dispenser is manually activated. Facilities shall be permitted to install and use automatically activated "touch free" alcohol-based hand-rub dispensing devices with the following requirements:

    Dispensers shall test the dispensers each time a new refill is installed

    Dispensers must operate in a manner that ensures accidental or malicious activations are minimized.

    Any activations of the dispenser shall only occur when an object is placed within 4 inches (98 mm) of the sensing device.

    An object placed within the activation zone and left in place will cause only one activation.

    Dispensers installed in occupancies with carpeted floors shall only be allowed in areas equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system.

  • Installation of hand-sanitizer dispensers in corridors
  • In addition to the provisions in Installation of wall-mounted hand-sanitizer dispensers above, where wall-mounted dispensers containing alcohol-based hand rubs are installed in corridors or rooms and areas open to the corridor, they shall be in accordance with all of the following:

    Level 2 and 3 aerosol containers shall not be allowed in corridors.

    The maximum capacity of each Class I or II liquid dispenser shall be 41 ounces (1.21 L) and the maximum capacity of each Level 1 aerosol dispenser shall be 18 ounces (0.51 kg).

    The maximum quantity allowed in a corridor within a control area shall be 10 gallons (37.85 L) of Class I or II liquids or 1135 ounces (32.2 kg) of Level 1 aerosols, or a combination of Class I or II liquids and Level 1 aerosols not to exceed, in total, the equivalent of 10 gallons (37.85 L) or 1,135 ounces (32.2 kg) such that the sum of the ratios of the liquid and aerosol quantities divided by the allowable quantity of liquids and aerosols, respectively, shall not exceed one.

    The minimum corridor width shall be 72 inches (1829 mm).

    Projections into a corridor shall not project horizontally more than 4 inches (102 mm) into the circulation path.


Fire Prevention Services
(530) 752-1493
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