Fire safety: Wikis

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Fire safety refers to precautions that are taken to prevent or reduce the likelihood of a fire that may result in death, injury, or property damage, alert those in a structure to the presence of a fire in the event one occurs, better enable those threatened by a fire to survive, or to reduce the damage caused by a fire. Fire safety measures include those that are planned during the construction of a building or implemented in structures that are already standing, and those that are taught to occupants of the building.

Threats to fire safety are referred to as fire hazards. A fire hazard may include a situation that increases the likelihood a fire may start or may impede escape in the event a fire occurs.

Fire safety is often a component of building safety. Those who inspect buildings for violations of the Fire Code and go into schools to educate children on Fire Safety topics are fire department members known as fire prevention officers. The Chief Fire Prevention Officer or Chief of Fire Prevention will normally train newcomers to the Fire Prevention Division and may also conduct inspections or make presentations.

A fire safety station at a high school. Fire hoses built into a structure can sometimes be used by occupants to mitigate fires while the fire department is responding.

Contents

Key elements of a fire safety policy

  • Building a facility in accordance with the version of the local building code
  • Maintaining a facility and conducting yourself in accordance with the provisions of the fire code. This is based on the occupants and operators of the building being aware of the applicable regulations and advice.

Examples of these include:

    • Not exceeding the maximum occupancy within any part of the building.
    • Maintaining proper fire exits and proper exit signage (e.g., exit signs pointing to them that can function in a power failure)
    • Placing and maintaining fire extinguishers in easily accessible places.
    • Properly storing/using, hazardous materials that may be needed inside the building for storage or operational requirements (such as solvents in spray booths).
    • Prohibiting flammable materials in certain areas of the facility.
    • Periodically inspecting buildings for violations, issuing Orders To Comply and, potentially, prosecuting or closing buildings that are not in compliance, until the deficiencies are corrected or condemning it in extreme cases.
    • Maintaining fire alarm systems for detection and warning of fire.
    • Obtaining and maintaining a complete inventory of firestops.
    • Ensuring that spray fireproofing remains undamaged.
    • Maintaining a high level of training and awareness of occupants and users of the building to avoid obvious mistakes, such as the propping open of fire doors.
    • Conduct fire drills at regular intervals throughout the year.

Common fire hazards

Improper use and maintenance of gas stoves often create fire hazards.

Some common fire hazards are:

  • Blocked cooling vent
  • Overloaded electrical system
  • Fuel store areas with high oxygen concentration or insufficient protection
  • Materials that produce toxic fumes when heated
  • Objects that block fire exits
  • Combustibles near or around the clothes dryer
  • Incorrectly installed wiring
  • Misuse of electrical appliances [1]
  • Lit candles left unattended
  • Improperly-extinguished tobacco
  • Failure to clean and maintain the clothes dryers exhaust duct
  • Combustible solutions on clothes placed in the clothes dryer
  • Flammables left near a hot water heater
  • Fireplace chimneys not properly or regularly cleaned
  • Misuse of wood burning stoves

Fire code

The Fire code (also Fire prevention code or Fire safety code) is a model code adopted by the state or local jurisdiction and enforced by fire prevention officers within municipal fire departments. It is a set of rules prescribing minimum requirements to prevent fire and explosion hazards arising from storage, handling, or use of dangerous materials, or from other specific hazardous conditions. It complements the building code. The fire code is aimed primarily at preventing fires, ensuring that necessary training and equipment will be on hand, and that the original design basis of the building, including the basic plan set out by the architect, is not compromised. The fire code also addresses inspection and maintenance requirements of various fire protection equipment in order to maintain optimal active fire protection and passive fire protection measures.

A typical fire safety code includes administrative sections about the rule-making and enforcement process, and substantive sections dealing with fire suppression equipment, particular hazards such as containers and transportation for combustible materials, and specific rules for hazardous occupancies, industrial processes, and exhibitions.

Sections may establish the requirements for obtaining permits and specific precautions required to remain in compliance with a permit. For example, a fireworks exhibition may require an application to be filed by a licensed pyrotechnician, providing the information necessary for the issuing authority to determine whether safety requirements can be met. Once a permit is issued, the same authority (or another delegated authority) may inspect the site and monitor safety during the exhibition, with the power to halt operations, when unapproved practices are seen or when unforeseen hazards arise.

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List of some typical fire and explosion issues in a fire code

  • fireworks, explosives, mortars and cannons, model rockets (licenses for manufacture, storage, transportation, sale, use)
  • certification for servicing, placement, and inspecting fire extinguishing equipment
  • general storage and handling of flammable liquids, solids, gases (tanks, personnel training, markings, equipment)
  • limitations on locations and quantities of flammables (e.g., 10 liters of gasoline inside a residential dwelling)
  • specific uses and specific flammables (e.g., dry cleaning, gasoline distribution, explosive dusts, pesticides, space heaters, plastics manufacturing)
  • permits and limitations in various building occupancies (assembly hall, hospital, school, theater, elderly care, child care, prisons, warehouses, etc)
  • locations that require a smoke detector, sprinkler system, fire extinguisher, or other specific equipment or procedures
  • removal of interior and exterior obstructions to emergency exits or firefighters and removal of hazardous materials
  • permits and limitations in special outdoor applications (tents, asphalt kettles, bonfires, etc)
  • other hazards (flammable decorations, welding, smoking, bulk matches, tire yards)
  • Electrical safety code
  • Fuel gas code

Public fire safety education

Most US fire departments have fire safety education programs.

Fire prevention programs may include distribution of smoke detectors, visiting schools to review key topics with the students and implementing nationally recognized programs such as NFPAs "Risk Watch" & "Learn not to burn."[2]

Other programs or props can be purchased by fire departments or community organizations. These are usually entertaining and designed to capture children's attention and relay important messages. Props include those that are mostly auditory, such as puppets & robots. The prop is visually stimulating but the safety message is only transmitted orally. Other props are more elaborate, access more senses and increase the learning factor. They mix audio messages and visual queues with hands-on interaction. Examples of these include mobile trailer safety houses and tabletop hazard house simulators.

All programs tend to mix messages of general injury prevention, safety, fire prevention and escape in case of fire. In most cases the fire department representative is regarded as the expert and is expected to present information in a manner that is appropriate for each age group.

Fire educator qualifications

The US industry standard that outlines the recommended qualifications for fire safety educators is NFPA 1035: Standard for Professional Qualifications for Public Fire and Life Safety Educator, 2005 Edition. This standard is currently being revised and the newest edition is slated for release in 2010. According to NFPA, 1035 specifically covers the requirements for Fire and Life Safety Educator Levels I, II, and III; Public Information Officer; and Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist Levels I and II.

Target Audiences

According to the United States Fire Administration, the very young and the elderly are considered to be "at risk" populations. These groups represent approximately 33% of the population and they should receive fire safety information[3].

See also

References

External links


Fire safety refers to precautions that are taken to prevent or reduce the likelihood of a fire that may result in death, injury, or property damage, alert those in a structure to the presence of a fire in the event one occurs, better enable those threatened by a fire to survive, or to reduce the damage caused by a fire. Fire safety measures include those that are planned during the construction of a building or implemented in structures that are already standing, and those that are taught to occupants of the building.

Threats to fire safety are referred to as fire hazards. A fire hazard may include a situation that increases the likelihood a fire may start or may impede escape in the event a fire occurs.

Fire safety is often a component of building safety. Those who inspect buildings for violations of the Fire Code and go into schools to educate children on Fire Safety topics are fire department members known as fire prevention officers. The Chief Fire Prevention Officer or Chief of Fire Prevention will normally train newcomers to the Fire Prevention Division and may also conduct inspections or make presentations.

Contents

Key elements of a fire safety policy

  • Building a facility in accordance with the version of the local building code
  • Maintaining a facility and conducting yourself in accordance with the provisions of the fire code. This is based on the occupants and operators of the building being aware of the applicable regulations and advice.

Examples of these include:

  • Not exceeding the maximum occupancy within any part of the building.
  • Maintaining proper fire exits and proper exit signage (e.g., exit signs pointing to them that can function in a power failure)
  • Placing and maintaining fire extinguishers in easily accessible places.
  • Properly storing/using, hazardous materials that may be needed inside the building for storage or operational requirements (such as solvents in spray booths).
  • Prohibiting flammable materials in certain areas of the facility.
  • Periodically inspecting buildings for violations, issuing Orders To Comply and, potentially, prosecuting or closing buildings that are not in compliance, until the deficiencies are corrected or condemning it in extreme cases.
  • Maintaining fire alarm systems for detection and warning of fire.
  • Obtaining and maintaining a complete inventory of firestops.
  • Ensuring that spray fireproofing remains undamaged.
  • Maintaining a high level of training and awareness of occupants and users of the building to avoid obvious mistakes, such as the propping open of fire doors.
  • Conduct fire drills at regular intervals throughout the year.

Common fire hazards

s often create fire hazards.]] Some common fire hazards are:

  • Blocked cooling vent
  • Overloaded electrical system
  • Fuel store areas with high oxygen concentration or insufficient protection
  • Materials that produce toxic fumes when heated
  • Objects that block fire exits
  • Combustibles near or around the clothes dryer
  • Incorrectly installed wiring
  • Misuse of electrical appliances [1]
  • Lit candles left unattended
  • Improperly-extinguished tobacco
  • Failure to clean and maintain the clothes dryers exhaust duct
  • Combustible solutions on clothes placed in the clothes dryer
  • Flammables left near a hot water heater
  • Fireplace chimneys not properly or regularly cleaned
  • Misuse of wood burning stoves

Fire code

The Fire code (also Fire prevention code or Fire safety code) is a model code adopted by the state or local jurisdiction and enforced by fire prevention officers within municipal fire departments. It is a set of rules prescribing minimum requirements to prevent fire and explosion hazards arising from storage, handling, or use of dangerous materials, or from other specific hazardous conditions. It complements the building code. The fire code is aimed primarily at preventing fires, ensuring that necessary training and equipment will be on hand, and that the original design basis of the building, including the basic plan set out by the architect, is not compromised. The fire code also addresses inspection and maintenance requirements of various fire protection equipment in order to maintain optimal active fire protection and passive fire protection measures.

A typical fire safety code includes administrative sections about the rule-making and enforcement process, and substantive sections dealing with fire suppression equipment, particular hazards such as containers and transportation for combustible materials, and specific rules for hazardous occupancies, industrial processes, and exhibitions.

Sections may establish the requirements for obtaining permits and specific precautions required to remain in compliance with a permit. For example, a fireworks exhibition may require an application to be filed by a licensed pyrotechnician, providing the information necessary for the issuing authority to determine whether safety requirements can be met. Once a permit is issued, the same authority (or another delegated authority) may inspect the site and monitor safety during the exhibition, with the power to halt operations, when unapproved practices are seen or when unforeseen hazards arise.

List of some typical fire and explosion issues in a fire code

  • fireworks, explosives, mortars and cannons, model rockets (licenses for manufacture, storage, transportation, sale, use)
  • certification for servicing, placement, and inspecting fire extinguishing equipment
  • general storage and handling of flammable liquids, solids, gases (tanks, personnel training, markings, equipment)
  • limitations on locations and quantities of flammables (e.g., 10 liters of gasoline inside a residential dwelling)
  • specific uses and specific flammables (e.g., dry cleaning, gasoline distribution, explosive dusts, pesticides, space heaters, plastics manufacturing)
  • permits and limitations in various building occupancies (assembly hall, hospital, school, theater, elderly care, child care, prisons, warehouses, etc)
  • locations that require a smoke detector, sprinkler system, fire extinguisher, or other specific equipment or procedures
  • removal of interior and exterior obstructions to emergency exits or firefighters and removal of hazardous materials
  • permits and limitations in special outdoor applications (tents, asphalt kettles, bonfires, etc)
  • other hazards (flammable decorations, welding, smoking, bulk matches, tire yards)
  • Electrical safety code
  • Fuel gas code

Public fire safety education

Most US fire departments have fire safety education programs.

Fire prevention programs may include distribution of smoke detectors, visiting schools to review key topics with the students and implementing nationally recognized programs such as NFPAs "Risk Watch" & "Learn not to burn."[2]

Other programs or props can be purchased by fire departments or community organizations. These are usually entertaining and designed to capture children's attention and relay important messages. Props include those that are mostly auditory, such as puppets & robots. The prop is visually stimulating but the safety message is only transmitted orally. Other props are more elaborate, access more senses and increase the learning factor. They mix audio messages and visual queues with hands-on interaction. Examples of these include mobile trailer safety houses and tabletop hazard house simulators.

All programs tend to mix messages of general injury prevention, safety, fire prevention and escape in case of fire. In most cases the fire department representative is regarded as the expert and is expected to present information in a manner that is appropriate for each age group.

Fire educator qualifications

The US industry standard that outlines the recommended qualifications for fire safety educators is NFPA 1035: Standard for Professional Qualifications for Public Fire and Life Safety Educator, 2005 Edition. This standard is currently being revised and the newest edition is slated for release in 2010. According to NFPA, 1035 specifically covers the requirements for Fire and Life Safety Educator Levels I, II, and III; Public Information Officer; and Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist Levels I and II.

Target Audiences

According to the United States Fire Administration, the very young and the elderly are considered to be "at risk" populations. These groups represent approximately 33% of the population and they should receive fire safety information[3].

See also

References

External links



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