It's important that fire hazards are identified and controlled in an effective FPP. Employees must be educated on the workplace fire hazards and the procedures to follow to prevent and control fire hazards. They must also learn how to respond to the fires those hazards might cause.
Electrical system failures and the misuse of electrical equipment are leading causes of workplace fires. Fires can result from loose ground connections, wiring with frayed insulation, or overloaded fuses, circuits, motors, or outlets.
To prevent electrical fires, employees should:
Make sure that worn wires are replaced.
Use only appropriately rated fuses.
Never use extension cords as substitutes for wiring improvements.
Use only approved extension cords [i.e., those with the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) label].
Check wiring in hazardous locations where the risk of fire is especially high.
Check electrical equipment to ensure that it is either properly grounded or double insulated.
Ensure adequate spacing while performing maintenance.
1. What are the leading causes of workplace fires?
a. Smoking in non-designated areas
b. Electrical system failures and equipment misuse
c. Microwave and other kitchen fires
d. Fires in waste cans and dumpsters
Fire risks are not limited to industrial facilities. Fires in offices have become more likely because of the increased use of electrical equipment, such as computers and fax machines. To prevent office fires, employees should:
Avoid overloading circuits with office equipment.
Turn off non-essential electrical equipment at the end of each workday.
Keep storage areas clear of rubbish.
Ensure extension cords are not placed under carpets.
Ensure trash and paper set aside for recycling is not allowed to accumulate.
In an effective FPP, smoking is prohibited in all company buildings. Certain outdoor areas may also be designated as no smoking areas. The areas in which smoking is prohibited outdoors should be identified by NO SMOKING signs.
3. Fires in offices have become more likely because of _____.
a. use of cell phone causing battery fires
b. higher voltages being used
c. increased use of electrical equipment
d. more employees smoking in the building
These include flammable and combustible liquids (oils, greases, tars, oil-based paints, and lacquers), flammable gases, and flammable aerosols.
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Handling Class B Combustibles
To handle Class B combustibles safely:
Use only approved pumps, taking suction from the top, to dispense liquids from tanks, drums, barrels, or similar containers (or use approved self-closing valves or faucets).
Do not dispense Class B flammable liquids into containers unless the nozzle and container are electrically interconnected by contact or by a bonding wire. Either the tank or container must be grounded.
Store, handle, and use Class B combustibles only in approved locations where vapors are prevented from reaching ignition sources such as heating or electric equipment, open flames, or mechanical or electric sparks.
Do not use a flammable liquid as a cleaning agent inside a building (the only exception is in a closed machine approved for cleaning with flammable liquids).
Do not use, handle, or store Class B combustibles near exits, stairs, or any other areas normally used as exits.
Do not weld, cut, grind, or use unsafe electrical appliances or equipment near Class B combustibles.
Do not generate heat, allow an open flame, or smoke near Class B combustibles.
Know the location of and how to use the nearest portable fire extinguisher rated for Class B fire.
Water should not be used to extinguish Class B fires caused by flammable liquids. (See Photo) Water can cause the burning liquid to spread, making the fire worse. To extinguish a fire caused by flammable liquids, exclude the air around the burning liquid. The following fire-extinguishing agents are approved for Class B combustibles: carbon dioxide, multi-purpose dry chemical (ABC), halon 1301, and halon 1211.
Important Note: Halon has been determined to be an ozone-depleting substance and is no longer being manufactured. Existing systems using halon can be kept in place. There are several products, such as FM-200 and Triodide, which are accepted alternatives to halon.
Class D Combustibles
Locations where combustible metal powders, flakes, shavings, or similarly sized materials are generated at least once every two weeks must install Class D portable fire extinguishers not more then 75 feet from the hazard.
Class K Combustibles
Due to the higher heating rates of vegetable oils in commercial cooking appliances NFPA 10, Portable Fire Extinguishers, now includes a Class K rating for kitchen fires extinguishers which are now required to be installed in all applicable restaurant kitchens. Once a fire starts in a deep fryer, it cannot always be extinguished by traditional range hoods or Class B extinguishers.
6. Which of the following classes of combustibles includes flammable and combustible liquids (oils, greases, tars, oil-based paints, and lacquers), flammable gases, and flammable aerosols?
a. Class A
b. Class B
c. Class C
d. Class D
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