Fire in the workplace

Reprints

While prevention is the best way to avoid fires in your workplace, knowing how to quickly and correctly respond in the event of a fire can save lives. The National Safety Council recommends the following actions when a fire strikes your workplace:

  • Report the fire immediately, before trying to put it out.
  • Before attempting to extinguish the fire, it is important to know what type of fire it is. For example, water can make an electrical or flammable liquid fire worse, and natural gas fires can reignite until the gas flow is turned off.
  • If the fire is large or extinguishers are not accessible:
    • Move away quickly, but avoid panicking.
    • Use stairs instead of elevators – a power outage could leave you trapped.
    • Close doors along the way.
    • Direct firefighters to the area of the fire.

  • If the fire is small and the correct type of fire extinguisher is available:
    • Break the seal on the extinguisher and remove the pin.
    • Stay 8-10 feet away from the fire.
    • Press the lever and aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
    • Continue moving the nozzle back and forth at the base of the flames with a steady, sweeping motion.

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