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Fire Extinguishers

It is essential that all employees be familiar with the proper use of portable fire extinguishers and know when and when not to use them. Remember that fire extinguishers are designed to fight only very small fires. Most average size extinguishers have enough water, dry chemical, or gas for about 15 seconds of fire fighting. The rating and the type of extinguisher determines the type of fire it can extinguish. In most public areas on campus, the extinguishers provided are of the type suitable to fight Class A, B, and C fires. That is to say that they would be effective for fires involving any ordinary combustible material (Class A), flammable liquids (Class B) or energized equipment (Class C).

Campus personnel who are trained in extinguisher use might attempt to mitigate a situation in certain circumstances. If an individual would decide to attempt to put out any small fire, the following prerequisites should be met, before any fighting occur:

  • The fire department has been notified and is enroute.
  • All personnel within the area have been notified of the fire and have evacuated the building.
  • The fire is very small (less than the size of a basketball).
  • The person who is going to fight the fire has been trained in the use of the fire extinguisher.
  • The person who is going to fight the fire has notified someone where he is going and what he is going to attempt to do.
  • If the fire is not extinguished in the first 15-20 seconds, if the fire gets bigger, or if the smoke increases, the person should leave the area. Saving property at the cost of life or health is not a good trade.

Fire extinguisher training maybe requested by contacting Environmental Health and Safety at 8-8325 and arranging for a hands on demonstration. There is also a web-based interactive module Basic Training in Extinguishers linked from this site.

2017-09-13T14:57:45.904-05:00 2017