The best way to prevent workplace fires is to be aware of, and on the lookout for, potential fire hazards. All hazardous situations should be reported to your supervisor. Know the location of fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment that is available to you. 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.).
Remember…P-A-S-S When Using an Extinguisher:
Be sure to remember the PASS operating technique for portable fire extinguishers. PASS stands for:
P – Pull the pin. Pulling the pin unlocks the operating lever or button so you can discharge the extinguisher. Stand at least 6 to 8 feet from the fire.
A – Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle or hose at the base of the fire.
S – Squeeze the lever below the handle. Squeezing the lever discharges the contents of the extinguisher. When you release the lever, the discharge stops. Some models have a button to press rather than a lever.
- S – Moving carefully toward the fire, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep from side to side until the flames appear to be out.
- The most common extinguisher is the multipurpose dry chemical type. It can be used for any class of fire. However, if the tag on the extinguisher is not labeled ABC, you must know the type of fire the extinguisher can be used on.
Most extinguishers will only allow about 10 seconds of extinguishing media. Prevention is the key when it comes to firefighting. Good housekeeping, proper storage procedures, and safe work practices will go a long way toward reducing the likelihood of a fire.
Don’t let your future go up in smoke…have a fire plan!
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