Selling fire extinguishers gives you a way to help people keep themselves and their property stay safe while you build a profitable business. Just about everyone needs a fire extinguisher, so narrowing down your market is key to building a niche. Plus, this helps you become known as the “go to” company for certain types of extinguishers, helping businesses remember you when it’s time for charging or buying new ones.

Making money from extinguishers requires getting them at a low cost and selling them at a higher price to make a profit. Obtain an EIN number, available for free from the IRS, to prove you’re a business entity so you can buy fire extinguishers at wholesale prices from distributors or directly from manufacturers. Before you invest in a line of fire extinguishers, check into your state’s laws, as you may need to apply for certification to sell the equipment. For instance, in Rhode Island and Texas, you must obtain a Certificate of Registration to sell portable fire extinguishers.

Select Target Market

Numerous target markets exist for your extinguishers, so choose one or two on which to focus to build a brand for your company and keep your marketing dollars from spreading too thin. Look at your competition to see which markets are not fully served, such as residential, commercial properties, manufacturers, boaters, restaurants, cafes or automotive service shops. New commercial construction projects, such those in the hospitality industry, give you another potential market.

Select Products

The types of fire extinguishers you sell depend on the market to which you sell them. For instance, Class A fire extinguishers work well for some manufacturing plants since they help put out combustible fires that rely on wood, plastics and textiles for fuel. If you sell extinguishers to restaurants, you’d want to sell Class K fire extinguishers to handle cooking oils and grease. To supplement the sale of your extinguishers, consider offering charging services, periodic inspections and installation.

Promote Your Business

Add a label to each fire extinguisher that includes your company name, logo and contact information so people know whom to call when they need more. Create a sales sheet and order form that describes the various types of fire extinguishers you sell. Include photos and descriptions of each one along with the class and cost. Send the sheet to businesses with which you want to do business, and use it as a follow-up after making sales calls. Set up a website to display the types of fire extinguishers you carry, and make your target market clear. For example, if you primarily sell to property managers, show apartment buildings and hallways with fire extinguishers installed on the walls.