Fire protection and prevention is one of the concerns of many employers; safety at work and reducing the number of accidents at work is fundamental, and it is not enough for all employees to periodically take an occupational risk prevention course in which they are warned, among other issues, about how the worker should behave in the event of a fire. The company must also be equipped with the corresponding prevention, detection, warning, and extinguishing means and infrastructure to guarantee the safety of everyone in the event of fire or accident.
Generally, for a fire to occur, three elements are needed: fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source. Fire prevention aims to prevent these three from coming into contact, and fires can be extinguished by removing one of the three from the equation.
Fire safety refers to the planning and design of infrastructure to reduce fire risk or prevent the spread of a fire when it does occur.
Seattle fire safety experts mention that fire safety encompasses the use of fire-resistant building materials, preventative actions, safe work practices, fire safety training, fire-retardant protective clothing, and more. Fire safety also includes the following:
- Ensuring compliance with local building codes.
- Ensuring that fire code provisions are followed (exists, ladders, markings, signage, etc.)
- Compliance with electrical safety codes
- Fire risk assessments when modifying a building, equipment, or process
- Proper storage of flammable and hazardous materials
- Installation of automatic or semi-automatic fire detection and fire alarm systems
- Provision of the correct types of fire extinguishers and hydrants in operation
- Training users in fire extinguishing, fire alarm, emergency evacuation, and assembly procedures.
- Conducting regular fire drills through coordination with the local fire department.
Although it is nearly impossible, in most work environments, to prevent oxygen and fuel from coming together; to prevent fires, the quantities and locations of powers must be controlled and kept away from potential ignition sources. So, according to Seattle fire safety professionals, the first step in a fire risk assessment is to identify possible fuel and ignition sources. Familiar ignition sources include:
- smoking materials;
- process heat (e.g., welding or grinding);
- electrical appliances, both in everyday use and in cases of overload or failure;
- ventilation outlets of heat-generating machinery;
- Deliberate ignition: incendiary attacks, etc.
All potential ignition sources should be identified as part of the risk assessment. Where possible, these should be controlled and kept out of the workplace or away from combustible materials.
Preventive measures you can take
- Ensure that a copy of the emergency procedures is posted in a conspicuous place in each work area.
- Have an understanding and knowledge of the contents of the unit’s Emergency Response Procedure.
- Regularly observe emergency evacuation routes, fire extinguishers, and emergency and exit lights. Immediately report any missing equipment or other discovered problems to EHS.
- Regularly observe aisles and stairways, and keep them clear of obstructions.
- Regularly observe all exits to keep them clear of obstructions at all times.
- Maintain fire alarm, smoke detection, and suppression systems in good condition.
- Regularly observe fire doors to ensure they are closed at all times; report inoperable doors.
- Prohibit the use of candles or any other open flame devices for any purpose in university buildings.
- Observe the “No Smoking” policy in all facilities.
There are general fire safety precautions you should follow no matter where you live. However, taking the time to review these tips on fire safety issues can help you create a safer living environment.