Fire Prevention Week!
Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned!
Fire Prevention Week was first established in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Since then, the National Fire Protection Association has educated the public on the very serious dangers of fire. This year’s theme is “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned!” with the emphasis on burn awareness and prevention as well as fire prevention. This is a great time of year to look at the fire prevention practices and plans in your company, as well as those in your own home.
If your company has more than 10 employees, you need to have a written fire prevention plan that is kept in the workplace and is made available to employees. According to OSHA, a fire prevention plan should include the following:
- A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard
- Procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials
- Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials
- The name or job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires
- The name or job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards
Our safety consultants see a number of fire hazards on a regular basis during their onsite safety inspections. Some of their recommendations include:
- Be sure fire extinguishers are available throughout the facility or jobsite and are wall-mounted.
- Fire extinguishers need to be inspected each month. The tags should be dated and initialed after each inspection. Assign someone within the company this task.
- In addition, fire extinguishers must be hydrostatically tested every five or twelve years (depending on the type of fire extinguisher) or whenever there is evidence of corrosion of mechanical injury.
- Immediately get rid of or repair spliced or damaged electrical cords.
- Only use UL-approved, self-closing cans for storing gasoline.
- Flammable and combustible materials should be stored in appropriate containers and properly marked.
- Compressed gas cylinders must be chained up when not in use. Oxygen and acetylene cylinders should be stored separately.
- No smoking signs should be prominently displayed in areas where combustible materials are used or stored.
- Test smoke and fire alarms at least once a month. Replace batteries at least once a year. Regularly check alarms for dust, dirt and other particulates that could interfere with the proper functioning of the system.
For more information on Fire Prevention Week and other fire related safety information visit the NFPA website.
This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.