Fire is defined as: The active principle of burning, characterized by the heat and light of combustion.
We deal with three major categories of fires, they are classified as A, B or C for simplicity the letters identifies different materials and methods of extinguishment.
Class A: Involves ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, many plastics, cloth, rubber.
- Common extinguishing agent: Water
Class B: Involves flammable liquids, oils, grease, gases
- Common extinguishing agent: Dry chemical extinguishers either multipurpose
A:B:C or combination B:C
Class C: Involves energized electrical equipment
- Common extinguishing agent: Combination B:C carbon dioxide (C02) or multi purpose A:B:C
There are three elements that need to be present for fire to ignite and burn, this is best associated with a triangle. The are:
- Air – Oxygen
With the removal of any side of the triangle the fire will not exist.
Omit Air-Oxygen: The fire smothers, oxygen is needed to burn. An example would be to put dirt on a camp fire, this takes the oxygen away.
Omit Fuel: If the fuel supply is removed there is nothing that remains to burn. An example is not putting the last log in the fire place and the fire will burn itself out.
Omit Heat: This is best defined by reducing heat with water or cooling the fuel where it is below the free burning temperature. An example of this would be using a garden hose to wet a camp fire.
Mental Checklist for Fight or Flight Decision
Attempt to use extinguisher only if all of the following apply:
- Building is being evacuated
- Fire department is being called
- Fire is small and being contained
- Exit is clear and you can fight fire with your back to exit
- Proper extinguisher is available
- You are trained and confident about using the extinguisher
- You can stay low and avoid breathing smoke
All stationary extinguishers are rated no smaller than 2A-10B-C
1 A Equals the potential extinguishing capability of 2 1/2 gallon of water
10 B Equals the potential extinguishing capability of 10 square feet of flammable liquids
C Means that it is a non-conductor of electricity
This gives you an idea as to multiples & capacity
Are you ready for a fire? – Pre-planning guidelines
* Office and warehouse *
1) Extinguishers located and what type are they:
Be familiar with your work area, all extinguishers are properly hung on wall brackets and meet or exceed the minimai2A:10B: C requirements. Maps are located throughout the facility to indicate the location and exit paths.
2) Established exit paths:
Wall mounted location maps are located throughout the complex, careful attention should be made to the shortest exit path and an alternate path should be identified – always have two ways out.
3) Securing work areas:
Upon exiting always try to close windows and doors this could slow down the spread and reduce oxygen and fuel.
4) Meeting place:
There shall be a pre-determined meeting place a safe distance from the building where employee accountability can be performed.
All employees shall utilize the sign in sheet located at the front desk.-This will accompany the receptionist for this, purpose.
5) Warehouse/ Flammable Storage:
There are three storage conditions to follow in the warehouse:
- Use flammable storage cabinet
- Only approved safety cans for liquid fuels
- L.P. Gas in approved chain secured rack
All of these items are located in a fenced compound with close access to a portable extinguisher with no smoking being enforced.
6) Review the fight or flight guidelines
All job trailers shall have a minimal of one 2A:108: C extinguisher mounted near the step entrance with good visibility and access for immediate use if needed.
An emergency action plan shall be in place per our safety manual (located at section K) with a dedicated employee maintaining the responsibility of taking a role call in a secure location
2) Flammable storage:
Shall comply with standard procedures, only approved safety cans will be used and stored in well ventilated areas as not to block any exit path.
3) Fight or flight:
Review the mental check list
1) All shall be in-house inspected monthly consisting of
- Making sure pin is secure
- Reading gauge, maintaining full charge
- Checking hose conditions for clear path of travel
- Documentation shall be made on the attached tag located on the
2) Annual inspection shall be made by a licensed service provider.
REMEMBER – THE BEST FIRE PROTECTION PROGRAM IS …… FIRE PREVENTION