Fire prevention is an important topic for the workplace, home, and even on the road. Fire prevention standards, practices, and skills learned or used in the workplace can be applied to other aspects of our daily lives. And, if used correctly, could save your life or the lives of others. In 2018 in the United States, there were 1.3 million fires, 3,655 deaths from fires, 15,200 injuries from fires, and $25.6 billion in losses from fires. In industrial settings, the five most common causes of fire and explosions are combustible dusts, hot work, flammable liquids and gasses, equipment and machinery failures, and electrical hazards.
There are four fire types:
- Class A – Ordinary combustibles (wood, paper, cardboard, plastics, etc.)
- Class B – Flammable liquids/gasses (gasoline, alcohol, solvents, propane, etc.)
- Class C – Electrical (electrical panels, switches, motors, etc.)
- Class D – Flammable metals (potassium, titanium, magnesium, sodium, etc.)
What steps can you take to prevent fires in your facilities?
Practice good housekeeping
- Organize storage areas.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Clean up after yourself.
- Store flammable materials in designated areas.
- Store flammable liquids/chemicals in proper storage cabinets.
- Keep aisleways and walkways clear.
Follow/use hot work permits
- Clear all flammable materials in a 35-foot perimeter around the hot work area.
- Assign a fire watch detail while conducting hot work and for one hour after work has concluded.
- Ensure personnel in the area are aware when hot work is being performed.
- Use protective barriers to prevent sparks from traveling or heat from transferring to other areas.
- Use protective barriers when flammable materials cannot be removed.
- Refer to your company’s hot work permits for additional procedures.
- Conduct drills every three to six months.
- Ensure updated evacuation routes/maps are posted.
- Ensure emergency exit signs are in place.
- Check all emergency exits and ensure they are not obstructed.
- Review emergency action plans annually.
- Perform monthly visual inspections and annual professional inspections.
- Ensure extinguishers are accessible and not obstructed.
- Conduct annual hands-on fire extinguisher training.
- Ensure fire extinguishers are adequate for fighting the fire classes that may occur in your facility.
RETTEW offers comprehensive fire extinguisher training to ensure class participants are competent in fire types, how to fight each fire type, and how to prevent fires. Training includes emergency and evacuation procedures specific to your facility/organization and a hands-on portion with a state-of-the-art fire simulator and live training extinguishers. Please contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 800.738.8395 for more information.
Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.