Fire Safety and Evacuation Procedures
Take Responsibility – become familiar with your building and have a plan:
Review evacuation plans posted throughout your building:
Common fire and life safety hazards to watch for in the workplace:
- Become familiar with evacuation routs.
- Establish an employee meeting place.
- Identify fire extinguishers near your area.
- Locate nearest pull alarm to your area.
- Scrap and trash: When waste materials build up, the danger of fire increases. Once an ignition source is present, scrap and trash provide the fuel a fire needs to grow.
- Dust: Excess dust or powder in the air from wood, plastic, metal, and other operations can cause an explosion if ignited.
- Flammable liquids: Improper handling, storage, or disposal of flammables used in production processes, as fuel sources, or for cleaning are a leading cause of workplace fires.
- Combustible materials: Culprits include paper, cardboard, cloth, and wood, or products made from these materials. Rags and other oil-soaked materials can spontaneously combust if left lying around.
- Electrical sources: Overloaded electrical circuits and outlets, damaged wiring, defective switches, and damaged plugs are potential causes of electrical fires. Electric coffeemakers, toaster ovens, space heaters, and other appliances are also potential fire hazards.
- Machinery: Fires can be caused by inadequately lubricated or cleaned equipment as well as mechanical defects.
- Missing or broken fire safety equipment.
- Burned out exit lights.
- Open fire doors.
- Blocked stairways.
When the building fire alarm sounds:
- Treat every alarm as though it is a real emergency, even if the initial source is unknown.
- Immediately begin to evacuate the area
- If accessible, grab important personal items such as keys, purse, wallet, and cellphone
- If circumstances permit, secure your area by closing and locking doors if you would normally do so when leaving for the day
- Insure all stairwell doors in your means of egress are also closed.
- As you are evacuating, inform co-workers, students, and visitors that they must evacuate immediately
- If the corridor is filled with smoke, stay low and crawl out. If there is too much smoke or it is too hot return to your office. Call 911 and inform them you are still in the building, provide them floor and room number.
- Once out of the building meet in the pre-designated area.
- Your pre-designated area should be at least 100' from the building. The area should not block egress from the building or access to the building by emergency personnel or vehicles.
- Attempt to determine if all occupants in your area have evacuated.
- Do not stop to investigate if the alarm is real or false. Always evacuate.
- Do not use the elevator to evacuate the building.
- Do not wait to shut down your computer; however it is recommended to lock your computer if immediately accessible.
- Do not return to your work area to retrieve personal belongings.
- Do not attempt to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher unless you have been trained in its use and the fire is small.
- DO NOT RE-ENTER THE BUILDING FOR ANY REASON, until the all clear signal is given.
- Do not open windows or leave doors open to assist with ventilation. Firefighters will ventilate the building if necessary.
If unable to leave the building, create an area of refuge:
- Seal the room. Use wet cloth to stuff around cracks in doors and seal up vents to protect against smoke.
- Do not break windows. Flames and smoke can come back in from the outside. If you need air, open the window a crack.
- Stay low under smoke. The freshest air is near the floor. Keep a wet cloth over your nose and mouth, breath through your nose only.
- Signal for help. Use the telephone, or hang something in the window.
Fire Code requirements specify the size, number and location of fire extinguishers within your facility.
These requirements help establish a protection level appropriate for the hazard class of your building.
Make sure you know the types, sizes and maintenance requirements of your extinguishers, as well as the basics of extinguisher operation.