A fire can occur in the workplace without warning, and it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent it. OSHA requires employers have an Emergency Response Plan in place and provide training. This training will cover some of the potential causes of fires in an auto salvage facility, how to prevent it, the different types of fires and extinguishing equipment to use depending on what materials are burning. Three things must be present for fire to occur; Air, Heat, and Fuel make up what is referred to as the “Fire Triangle”. Together, they produce the chemical reaction; FIRE. Take one away and the fire will be extinguished.
• Identify hazards in the workplace that could cause a fire.
• Describe conditions that could cause a fire.
• The Fire Triangle.
• Emergency Exits.
• Fire Response.
Housekeeping is important in fire prevention. If debris or flammable material is allowed to accumulate, the risk of a fire starting increases. The storage of flammable liquids, and the use and removal of rags used with these liquids is extremely important to prevent spontaneous combustion. OSHA has strict regulations for the storage and handling of flammables.
Most firefighting is best when left to professionals, but there are some small fires that can be handled ourselves with a portable fire extinguisher. However, not all fire extinguishers are the same. It is very important to understand which type of extinguisher to use. We will discuss fire extinguishers in a future Toolbox Talk. If you are uncomfortable with The situation, just let the fire department Do their job!
As always, be safe out there!