You are responsible for fire prevention at work for your safety and that of your co-workers. Be aware of and on the lookout for potential fire hazards.
Report hazardous situations to the supervisor. Know the location of fire extinguishers and emergency equipment. During an actual emergency, protect yourself. Do not get involved if it is not safe.
If you ever discover a fire, keep your cool but think fast and act with caution. Size it up fast; knowing when to attempt extinguishing the fire yourself and when to call for help is essential.
Sound the alarm and evacuate the area. Call the emergency numbers you’ve been given, and give the details about the fire (location, how it started etc.). Never hesitate to call the fire department, even if the fire seems minor. Have someone meet the firefighters to tell where the fire is. They can lose valuable minutes if they must find it themselves.
Warn anyone in the area so they can get to safety. This is especially important with indoor fires. Most people die from smoke, poisonous gases and panic. If there is an escape plan, direct people to exit the building or area.
Review your company’s fire safety procedures often so you’ll know what to do. Act with caution. Sound the alarm. Warn others in the area. Evacuate and stay back unless you’re asked to help.
It is important to know where the fire extinguishers are located and how to operate them properly. Distinguish before you extinguish. Choose the correct extinguisher for the type of fire (paper/wood, grease/gas/flammable liquids, electrical). If you are not trained or authorized to use an extinguisher, don’t try.
The appropriate fire extinguisher must be selected.
Look for the Extinguisher classification letter to determine if it is the correct for the fire.
- Class A fires — involve ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cloth, and some rubber and plastic materials.
- Class B fires — involve flammable or combustible liquids, flammable gases, greases, and some rubber and plastic materials.
- Class C fires — involve energized electrical equipment which requires the use of electrically non-conductive extinguishing media.
- Class D fires — involve combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium and potassium.
Use the P.A.S.S Technique
Prepare the extinguisher and stand about 6 feet from the fire. Extend the nozzle toward the fire and get ready to release the extinguishing agent. Use the P.A.S.S. Technique:
- Pull out the pin that secures the handle.
- Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle or triggering mechanism.
- Sweep the agent stream from side to side across the base of the fire until it is completely out. Be alert for re-ignition. If this happens, douse the fire until the extinguisher is empty. If the blaze cannot be extinguished or it recurs repeatedly, vacate the area immediately.
Keep firefighting equipment in proper working condition.
Inspect all portable fire extinguishers monthly and make sure they are charged.
Keep the appropriate fire extinguishers on hand for the fire hazards in your workplace.
Ensure workers are trained to determine which extinguishers to use for different types of fires.
Let’s be safe out there!