There are a few necessities in life that are crucial to a person’s survival, including food, water, air, light, and heat. But all necessities in excess put people in danger; too much water can lead to drowning and too much light can be blinding. Heat in excess leads to burning, which can harm you and even leave damage for miles. Not only are they dangerous, but they can be far more common than you may expect. In a given year, there are nearly 1 million fires reported in the United States.
So how do we prevent fires from creating serious damage to our industries and communities? Well, the first step is to eliminate the hazard. The Hard Hat Training Series has in-depth fire safety training modules to keep you informed to avoid fire hazards.
In the event a fire has already begun, you will need fire prevention systems in place, like a fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers are designed to operate for a continuous flow of about 15 seconds for small and medium sized fires. If a fire is too big then get to a safe place, pull a fire alarm, and notify the proper authorities. A good rule for determining if the fire is safe to extinguish is the five second rule. If you believe the fire can’t be put out in five seconds, then immediately evacuate the building.
If using an extinguisher is an appropriate action, hold it properly at a safe distance from the flames. When using a fire extinguisher, remember P.A.S.S.
- Pull the safety pin. the safety pin is designed to prohibit the extinguisher from discharging unless it is removed. This seal can easily be broken by pulling hard or twisting the pin.
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Aiming at the base will cause the agent to come in direct contact with the fuel source and be more effective.
- Squeeze the lever or press the button above the handle until the extinguisher is activated.
- Sweep the nozzle back and forth across the base of the fire. While sweeping the hose or nozzle, take steps towards the fire as the fire is being extinguished. This allows the extinguishing agent to be more effective by covering the entire base of the fire.
For more information on fire safety, visit the Hard Hat Training website!