The triangle of fire extinction: Based on understanding, Fire is a combustion process of oxidation characterized by the production of that,flame and smoke. Fire can usually take place only when the three basic elements as discussed earlier are present. It follows therefore that removal of anyone of these three factors will result in te extinction of fire.
This is the removal or limitation of fuel supply to fire e.g. isolating gas supply to a burning cooker. Removing the combustible material from the fire or the fire from combustible material is starvation.
This refers to the cutting off of oxygen supply to a fire e.g. use of fire blanket or a cover lid on a frying pan on fire, or a foam blanket for large fires.
This refers to the reduction of heat below ignition temperature achievable mainly by water application generally, fire safety, at its most basic, is based upon the principle of keeping fuel sources and ignition sources separate.
How Does Fighting of petroleum gas fires takes place?
It is a clear and standard operating procedure to approach any fire emergency with utmost caution and in a thoughtful way, and ensuring that it is been done in a deliberate manner. Position is taken for quick retreat when life is threatened. Thus, safeguarding the lives of all concerned must take priority in each activity initiated to tackle petroleum/gas fires. The raising of alarm therefore for occupants to evacuate before fighting the fire is of paramount importance. In technical situations of urgent fire rescue, kindly understand that the following chemicals should be vividly identified to avoid unnecessary errors.
The degree of the hazard involved is determined by the flammable characteristics of the vapour of a liquid. The hazard becomes most evident when liquids are placed in open containers or when spills or leaks occur.
Take extra precaution with flammable liquids. Stocks should be stored in a well-ventilated detached single storey building of fire-resisting construction. Handle flammable liquids only at a safe distance from possible sources of ignition. Clean off spills immediately.
Machinery: Worn and defective parts are apt/meant to sparks as well as over-heading.
Have machines regularly serviced and replace worn out parts. Make sure that electrical applications are switched off at the main switch after use.
Carefully positioning of fire fighting equipment relative to the terrain and wind direction requires adequate consideration. These activities should be accomplished as rapidly as is consistent with safety. Points to note are that:
Flammable liquids are in class B classification. Foam and DCP can be used to extinguish fires involved them.
In all cases call the fire service before fighting the fire.Do not panic, and do not play the hero nor take undue risks.
Very important: Never use water on burning liquid fires because this could erupt dangerously and increase the surface area of fire.
When applying the fire fighting agent, direct stream to the base fire. When using foam apply on the wall of the fuel container and allow flowing steadily and covering the entire fuel surface. When fire gets beyond what you can control evacuate the area.
Do not fight the fire if ;
· You don’t have appropriate or adequate equipment.
· You might inhale toxic smoke.
· Your instincts tell you to.
The primary goal of a fire prevention is to reduce eliminate fire in our workplace by highlighting fire safety awareness to all employees and providing them with the information necessary to recognize hazardous conditions and to take appropriate action before such conditions result in a fire emergency.
The risk of fire is ever present at homes offices, workshops and in the field. The best method of fighting a fire is to prevent its occurrence by taking simple fire prevention precautions.
This is the simplest and yet the most neglected of fire precaution. Fire hazards can be considerably reduced simply through general tidiness, the proper disposal of waste and the limitation of exposed combustible materials.
Fire safety assessment:
Identify/ evaluate the credible fire hazards.
Fire preventions measures
· Determine/evaluate measures to prevent releases/fire, ignition and limit fuel flow in case fire occurs.
· Determine /evaluate the measures aimed at preventing/minimizing escalation.
· Determine/evaluate the fire fighting measures required for the residual hazards.
Fire preventions at locations/worksites
Enforce/obey all safety signs e.g.”NO SMOKING”
Carry out job hazard analysis always.
Ensure area is free of flammable gas before any hot job is carried out.
Ensure fire break is clean and not less than 3M wide.
Avoid bush burning.
Use only approved electrical apparatus for hazardous area.
Report all defects promptly.
Emergency response/evacuation procedure on noticing fire
Raise an alarm by shouting fire! fire!! Fire!!!.
Activate the fire alarm call point by pressing the button.
CALL the fire service on available telephone number. Give your name and location of fire.
Attack the fire with fire extinguishers available.
Others (on hearing the alarm)
Leave the building through exit/emergency exit route. Do not go for luggages/personal belongings.
Shut the door behind you –DO NOT LOCK.
Be calm do not panic
Do not use the lift, use the staircase
Assemble at muster point for instruction and roll call.
Do not re-enter the building until the emergency is declared over.
The final rule is to always position yourself with an exit an exit or mean of escape at your back before you attempt to use an extinguisher to put out a fire. In case of the extinguisher malfunctions, or something unexpected happens, you need to be able to get out quickly, and you don’t want to become trapped just remember, always keep an exits at your back.
1. Fire precautions
These will usually be specified in the fire certificate (where required) or as guidance for exempted premises.
· Means of escape – routes; marking of fire exits; emergency and escape lighting; fire doors should never be wedged open and their self-closing devices should be checked regularly.
· Routes and emergency exits- and the exit themselves should be kept clear. Exits should not be so locked that cannot be opened easily in the event of an emergency.
· Emergency doors should open in the direction of escape and sliding or revolving doors should not be used for emergency exits.
· Fire warning systems – required for certificated premises; a prudent precaution for exempted premises; regular tests and records of these to be kept; any system should be suitable for premises.
· Means of fire fighting – appropriate types of equipment and places where it is to be provide; need to ensure appropriate types and numbers of extinguishers to deal with different fire risks according to size of the building, physical and chemical properties of substances present and the maximum number of people present at one time. Fire fighting should be easily accessible and simple to use.
Read this: What you Must Know about Classification of Dangerous fire
· Contacting emergency services – suitable arrangements must be put in place.
2. Training staff
For certificate premises this may be specified in the certificate. Induction training is particularly important. Practical training can be supplemented by additional written instructions and all training should be logged. Employers should nominate employees to implement measures for fighting and provide them with adequate training, information and equipment.
Mock fire drills should be carried at least twice a year, perhaps more frequently for larger premises. The use of appointed ‘fire wardens’ to supervise and review evacuation exercises is recommended.
3. Fire instruction signs/notices
Emergency routes and exits must be indicated by signs. Emergency routes requiring illumination should provide with emergency lighting of adequate intensity should normal lighting fails. It is good practice to have printed notices displayed in conspicuous positions in all parts of the premises detailing the action to be taken in the event of fire.
4. Staff considerations
All staff should be consulted or their elected representatives) about your proposals when setting up fire precautions.
You must inform and co-operate with other employers who may share the same building.
Account should be taken of the less able-bodied, wheelchair users and those with impaired mobility, staff with impaired vision or impaired hearing and staff with learning difficulties.
Employees are legally required to co-operate with the organization to ensure the safety of the workshop and not do anything that anyone at risk.
Before carrying out structural alterations or changes to fire alarm systems it is advisable you consult your fire safety department.
Fire precautions equipment and device should be subject to a suitable system of scheduled maintenance in order to ensure they remain in efficient working order and good repair.
7. Common parts
If you have control over parts of a premises occupied by more than one workplace, but do not employ anyone yourself, you are nevertheless responsible for ensuring that the fire regulations are complied with in the area under yo control.
How to use a fire extinguisher
Its easy to remember how to use a fire extinguisher if your remember the acronym PASS, which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and sweep.
Pull the pin.
This will allow you to discharges the extinguisher.
Aim at the base of the fire.
If you aim at the flame (which is frequently the temptation) the extinguishing agent will fly through and do no good. You want to hit the fuel.
Squeeze the top handle or lever.
This depresses a button that releases the pressurized extinguisher agent in the extinguisher.
Sweep from side to side until the ire is completely out. Start using the extinguisher from a safe distance away, and then move forward. Once the fire is o, keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites.
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