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KU-EHS February Safety Tip: Fire Protection

Monday, February 1, 2016

Workplace fires claim about 150 lives a year. We can take action to prevent fires in our facility by adhering to a few basic safety rules, which we’ll review today.
 

1. Three separate elements are necessary for a fire to develop. What are they?

  • The three elements necessary to form a fire include:
    1.  Fuel, which could be anything from a bag of trash to a flammable liquid
    2.  Oxygen — in other words, the air we breathe
    3.  Heat or an ignition source — examples would include an electrical short, an open flame or even a hot exhaust pipe
  • These three elements together form what is known as the “fire triangle.”
  • Removing just one of the elements would eliminate the possibility of a fire developing
     

2. What actions can we take to prevent fires from developing in our facility?

  • Keep work areas clean and organized.
  • Don’t allow trash to accumulate.
  • Ensure that all plugs and cords are in good condition before using electrical equipment.
  • Don’t overload outlets.
  • Don’t use equipment that smokes or sparks.
  • Store chemicals properly.
  • Keep flammable and combustible materials away from ignition sources.
  • Obey smoking rules.
  • Keep machines and equipment free of grease and dust.
  • Check chemical containers for leaks.
  • Report fire hazards immediately.

3. What are some important things to know in case a fire should occur in our workplace?

  • Your exit route in the event of an evacuation
  • The pathway to at least two exits from every room in our facility
  • The sound or signal used to indicate a fire
  • The person to contact in the event of a fire emergency
  • Where to go once you are outside of the building

A Few Final Words

Fire safety is something to keep in mind both on and off the job. Before we conclude, I want to share some important reminders about fire safety in the home, specifically, smoke alarms:

  • Smoke alarms should be installed both inside and outside every bedroom, and on every level of your home, including the basement.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding where to position alarms.
  • Smoke alarms should be tested monthly.

The batteries in a smoke alarm should be changed once a year, unless you have reason to believe that they are no longer working



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