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Safety Tips: Fire Prevention

Safety Tips: Fire Prevention

Did You Know? Fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of accidental injury deaths in the United States and the third-leading cause of fatal home injury.  It is essential that all workers are aware of potential fire hazards on and around the work site.  OSHA requires employers to implement fire protection and prevention programs in the workplace.

Additionally, everyone needs to be equally prepared while at home.  Basic fire protection knowledge and preparation could help save your life as well as the lives of your loved ones.  Take the time to prepare a plan for both you and your family.

Characteristics of a Fire:
  • To support fire, you must have; HEAT, FUEL, OXYGEN, and SUSTAINED CHEMICAL REACTION
  • A small fire can grow out of control in as little as 30 seconds.
  • A room involved with a fire can have a temperature of 100°C at floor level and 600°C at eye level. In less than 5 minutes a room can flashover.
  • Fire starts bright but will quickly turn the room pitch black from releasing smoke and toxic gas. Be familiar with your surroundings and evacuation routes!

Job-Site Fire Protection Safety Tips:
  • Make sure there is a ventilation system, especially where paint, solvents or other flammable materials are being applied.
  • Ensure working smoke detectors are provided in building areas.
  • Make sure there is at least one fire extinguisher on all construction sites. All extinguishers should be easy to find and everyone should know where they are.
  • Clean up all flammable liquid leaks or spills immediately
  • Never put water on an electrical fire.
  • Use a CO2 fire extinguisher only if the fire is small.
  • Don’t overload circuits or bypass the circuit protection
  • Inspect all electric devices and their cords. Replace frayed insulation at once.  Most electric devices are subject to internal wiring failures, faulty power cords, and switches that add to fire risk.

Safety Work Practices & Tips:
  • An important fire safety tip is to look for and eliminate any potential fire hazards before they become a reality!
  • Know where pull stations and extinguishers are located.
  • Time is the biggest enemy, get out of the building!
  • If a fire, pull the nearest fire alarm if possible.  If not, call for help from a safe location outside.
  • If smoke, stay as low to the ground as possible.
  • If safe, close all doors behind you as you leave the building.
  • Don’t use the elevator for evacuation because the shaft can act as a chimney.
  • Elevators also present an entrapment hazard if they fail.
  • Never return to a burning building.

The 2016 Fire Protection Week presented by the National Fire Protection Association campaign is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date.”  Smoke Alarms require the batteries to be replaced every 10 years.  Make sure you know how old the smoke alarms are in your home.  If you are unsure, check the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm.  Make sure the alarm is replaced 10 years from that date.

Check the Date Campaign.

Check the Date Campaign by the National Fire Protection Association

Smoke Alarm Safety Tips:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Make sure everyone can hear the sound of the smoke alarms. Talking smoke alarms have been found to be more effective with sleeping children.
  • Have a home fire escape plan? Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and a meeting place outside. Practice your escape plan twice a year.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.

Interesting Sites with Additional Information and Tips:

OSHA: Fire Protection and Prevention (PDF)

Grainger Quick Tips:  Portable Fire Extinguishers: Maintenance, Use, Placement, and Testing

Caterpillar: Fire Safety (PDF)

Caterpillar: Fire Prevention & Extinguishing (PDF)

Sources of Tips and Information in this Post:

CWPR Toolbox Talk: Fire Safety (PDF)

Harvard EHS: Fire Safety Toolbox Talk (PDF)

National Fire Protection Association: Fire Protection Week

Safety Toolbox Topics: Fire Protection Week Tips

OSHA: Fire Safety


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