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Fire Safety

Fire Safety
Fires ravage 28,000 industrial facilities each year,
causing $596 million in direct property damage.
Ninety percent of these fires can be attributed to
human errors. Fires can be prevented with an
awareness of the hazards and safe work practices.
These include: good housekeeping practices,
proper procedures when handling flammable
material, what to do if a fire breaks out, and the
proper use of fire extinguishers.
The Elements of Fire
A fire needs three elements to exist: oxygen, heat
and fuel. Fuel is anything that will burn when
exposed to heat. It can be a solid, liquid or gas.
Fuel sources include paper, wood, oil, grease,
chemicals, and flammable liquids. The leading
heat sources that could cause these fuel sources to
burn include electricity, cigarettes, cutting and
welding, sparks from tools, and friction.To
prevent a fire from occurring, you need to
eliminate any of the elements needed for a fire to
The Elements of Fire
Good house keeping can help you to separate the
heat sources from fuel sources. This is done by
keeping waste to a minimum, equipment well
maintained, and storage areas organized. A poorly
kept facility increases the chances for a fire and
allows a fire to quickly get out of hand. Keep all
equipment and tools well maintained. Deposits of
oil, pitch, and wood dust on tools or machinery
can catch on fire by sparks. Loose or work
moving parts that rub against each other can
create enough heat to cause flammable material to
Flammable Liquids
Flammable liquids are used so often in the work
environment that they are often taken for granted.
Liquids, themselves, do not burn, but they form vapors
that do burn.
Flammable Liquids
Flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which the vapor
from combustible liquid can be made to ignite. The lower
the flashpoint, the more dangerous the liquid.
Flammable Range is the volume of vapor needed in the
air for a fire to start if it needs a heat source. It is
measured in percentages.
Spontaneous Combustion occurs when a flammable
liquid catches on fire without an outside heat source,
such as a spark or a cigarette. The temperature at which
this occurs is called the Ignition Temperature.
Flammable Liquids
Storing & Transferring Flammable Liquids
Since flammable liquids are easily ignited and burn
rapidly, they must be stored in isolated areas. This is
usually away from the main building in an outdoors
location or under a roof with few walls. A one-story
non-combustible building can also be used. Small
amounts of flammable liquids can be stored in safety
cabinets. Flammable liquids at the work site should be
kept to a minimum. Proper ground systems must be
used when storing and transferring flammable liquids
to prevent static electricity from igniting flammable
Flammable Liquids
Storing & Transferring Flammable Liquids
A bonding wire must be fastened to the drum and
safety can to provide a path for the electricity.
Flammable liquids must be manually transferred into
safety can. Spring-load lids assure that they
automatically close after filling or pouring. A flame
arrester is a wire mesh screen inside the safety can that
dissipates flames and heat.This prevents the flames
from reaching the vapors inside the can.
Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are classified according the type of
fire they are effective against. The type of fuel that a fire
is composed of determines it classification.
Class A Fires
Class A fires are composed of dry combustibles like
paper, wood, and plastics . Class A extinguishers contain
water to remove the heat from the fire. Class A fires form
embers that continue to smolder in the fire is not totally
extinguished. The burned material must be moved away
from the building after the fire is extinguished.
Fire Extinguishers
Class B Fires
Class B fires are usually fueled by grease, oil, paint, or
flammable liquids. Class B extinguishers contain dry
chemicals, carbon dioxide, or other agents.
Dry chemical shoots out a powdery cloud that smothers
Carbon dioxide eliminates the oxygen element of the fire.
Fire Extinguishers
Class C Fires
Class C fires are electrical. An extinguisher is rated for
class C fires if it contains an agent that is nonconductive.
Fire Extinguishers
Class D Fires
Class D extinguishers are used on exotic metals such as
magnesium, sodium, and potassium. No other fire
extinguisher is effective against these combustible metal
fires. Using an extinguisher that is not properly rated for
the fire could actually spread the fire and make it worse.
Extinguishers with multiple classifications life the ABC
extinguisher eliminate your chances of choosing the
wrong extinguisher because they are effective for Class
A,B, and C fires, and fries that have more than one fuel
Fire Extinguishers
Using Fire Extinguishers
When using a fire extinguisher remember the acronym
•Pull the pin.
•Aim low, at the base of the fire.
•Squeeze the handle to release the extinguisher agent.
•Sweep from side to side to keep the fire from spreading.
Fire Extinguishers
Using Fire Extinguishers
Remember that fire extinguishers have a limited range and
limited amount of extinguishing agent. They are effective
against small fires nut should not be used in any of the
following situations:
•You have not been properly trained to use the fire
•The fire spreads beyond its immediate area.
•The fire could block your escape route.
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