Fire Safety Procedures: 3 Simple Steps

Fire SafetyThis past summer left with several fires blazing all over the US, especially in the West.   These fires have threatened people, caused evacuations, and burned down homes and businesses.  A lack of knowledge and awareness are the causes of most fires and loss of life.  A continuous fire safety program will allow employees to be informed of fire risks and how to prevent them in the workplace.  Fire safety training for employees and fire safety plans should be reviewed and updated annually.  The reason is that new employees will need initial training and old employees need to be refreshed on safety, such as fire and evacuation procedures.

1.  Fire Extinguisher: Ensure that you have the correct fire extinguisher which is based on the type of fire.  The 3 fire extinguishers that apply to most fires in the workplace are Class A, B, and C fire extinguishers.  Class A extinguishers are used for ordinary combustibles, such as wood, paper, and cloth.  Class B extinguishers are used for flammable liquids like gasoline.  Lastly, Class C extinguishers are used for electrical equipment which includes motors and switches.  The facilities manager would need to ensure that the correct type of extinguisher is accessible in the appropriate area.  For example, an office building would need to ensure that it has Class A fire extinguishers located in the office areas.

2.  Fireload: The fireload of a building is the amount of combustible material in its interior. Analyzing what will burn in a facility is most important as compared to analyzing the facility’s operations.  For example, generally people would view a manufacturing factory as being more of a fire threat than a doctor’s office, because the factory has electrical and machinery.  However, a doctor’s office may store patient records and x-rays which could create a greater fireload than a factory.  To prevent a future fire, try to minimize the fireload of your facility.

3.  Security/Response Personnel: While smoke and heat detector sensors can sense heat, but the human brain can sense more.   Security personnel who are trained can think, problem solve, and detect what detector sensors cannot.  People’s intuition/subconscience can sense when “something doesn’t feel right,” in the building.  Sensors cannot tell you that fire exits are blocked or exit doors are not working properly.  Response personnel should be trained on when to report a fire and who to report it to initially.  Sometimes the simplest actions are what prevent or minimize the hazards of fires. Fire safety is that easy!

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