Fire Safety Information
Fire is a possibility in any workplace setting. Proper training in fire response and fire extinguisher use can help overcome the panic reaction you're bound to experience in an actual fire. Three rules to remember when confronted with a fire:
1. Pull the fire alarm and dial Law Enforcement 2278 or 9-911.
2. Be sure the fire is manageable before you try to extinguish it yourself. Fires can quickly get out of control. If you have any doubt, get out of the area, closing the door behind you.
3. If you're certain you can extinguish it yourself and decide to, always make sure you leave yourself a means of exiting. Keep between the fire and an open exit.
will fall into one of five basic classes:
Class A - Normal combustibles - Trash, paper, wood
Class B - Flammable or combustible liquids
Class C - Electrical
Class D - Metals
Class K - Cooking Oils
Following are the different types of fire extinguishers found around campus:
1.ABC Dry Chemical: These are found in sizes containing from 5 to 20 pounds of monoammonium phosphate. Monoammonium phosphate is a finely ground extinguishing agent, which looks like yellow talcum powder. Nitrogen gas is used for propellant. This extinguisher is particularly effective on class A, B, and C fires but is also extremely messy. Operation is fairly simple. Pull the pin through the seal, aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire and sweep from side to side. The extinguisher has a range of about 15 feet. These extinguishers are found in hallways and occasionally in labs.
2.Carbon Dioxide: This is a high pressure vessel filled with either 5 or 10 pounds of liquid CO2. It is only to be used on flammable liquid or electrical fires. Because the CO2 is expelled as a gas the extinguisher has a very limited operation range of about 4 to 6 feet. This extinguisher is found mostly in labs or mechanical rooms. The carbon dioxide extinguisher can be easily identified because it does not have a pressure gauge.
3.Halon: A halon fire extinguisher uses bromochlorodifluoromethane, halon 1211, as its extinguishing agent. Halon is an extremely clean agent leaving no residue. This makes it a good agent for use around computers and other sensitive equipment. Range is about 15 feet. Pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire and sweep from side to side. Operation is similar to the ABC extinguisher.
4. Dry Powder: These extinguishers are for use on metal fires. Extinguishment is achieved by isolating and smothering the fire with either a graphite or sodium chloride based powder. Some of these extinguishers are cartridge operated, so they are a little different to use: before the agent can be released a plunger on the side of the extinguisher must be pushed down to charge the extinguisher with propellant. Once charged, the operator depresses the handle at the nozzle and lets the powder flow over the fire. Range is about 1 to 2 feet.
The newer dry powder extinguishers are mounted on 2 wheel carts. Operation is similar to ABC, Halon and Carbon Dioxide extinguishers. Pull pin, take the hose and wand assembly out of the retainer and aim at base of the fire. Range is 3 to 6 feet.
5. Class K Fire Extinguishers: In recent years there has been a trend for commercial kitchens to start using much more efficient cooking appliances and unsaturated cooking oils that operate at much higher temps than the previous oils and appliances. The class K extinguisher was developed to combat this new hazard. This extinguisher uses a wet potassium acetate based, low pH agent that has a greater fire fighting and cooling effect for this type of hazard. Most of these extinguishers can safely be used on Class A, B, and C fires also. Their range is 10-12 feet and will last for about 40 seconds. Once again break the seal pull the pin and aim at the base of the fire. Class K extinguishers can be found in kitchens on campus.
If you use a
fire extinguisher, notify Environmental Health and Safety 893-4428 as soon as
possible. Never remount an extinguisher after use. If your extinguisher needs
servicing or you would like to attend a fire extinguisher demonstration, call
Environmental Health and Safety. Remember:
When in doubt, get out!