Did you know about this OSHA regulation?

OSHA requires that your plan-of-action include a way to alert employees – including disabled workers, to evacuate or take action, and how to report emergencies.

Let’s break this down:

1. How do you alert employees including workers who may be hearing impaired? Try a dual Audible and Visual Signal Light that blasts a warning but also blinks brightly enough to catch everyone’s attention.

2. Evacuating and taking action is the easy part! Line your evacuation route with Exit Signs and Glow in the Dark Tape. Do not block fire extinguishers so they are easily visible. Establish a meeting place outside the building and make sure all employees know where it is and to whom to report once they get there.

3. Create an easy and fast way for employees to report emergencies. This procedure works well: in each department, identify an emergency point person and a backup.  The emergency point person is in charge of his/her department roster and ensures all employees from the department have left the building and arrived at the evacuation point. This person should also be the first point of contact for reporting emergencies.  Your emergency point person will contact the other departments to report the emergency and from that point, your company will begin to follow your emergency evacuation plan.

Follow the simple steps above to instantly comply with OSHA regulations.  Avoid fines or worse- injuries and lost time.

-ms.

Fire safety training is important at any age

Students at Albany High School were taught how to use fire extinguishers by firefighters themselves for expert training incomparable to videos or handouts. Starting fire safety training at a young age may increase the likelihood that the lessons will become second nature. If you’re looking to train employees, students, residents or anyone else, Emedco has the products you need to have effective training sessions:

Portable Fire Extinguisher FYI Part III

Employee Training

  • Ensure all employees know and follow all fire safety rules. Create a program and plan to communicate your company’s evacuation plan through group or individual training and a series of pre-planned fire drills.
  • Provide specific guidelines for using portable fire extinguishers.
  • Locate all fire extinguishers in your facility and provide proper training to employees on extinguisher use. If your local fire department does not offer free hands-on training, use the 4-step PASS process that will adequately train your workers:
  1. P- pull the pin
  2. A- aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire
  3. S- squeeze the handle slowly and evenly to discharge the contents
  4. S- sweep the nozzle from side-to-side
  • EMPLOYEE SAFETY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Review Portable Fire Extinguisher FYI series to keep your employees (and building and assets) as safe as possible.

-MS

Portable Fire Extinguisher FYI Part II

Maintenance & Placement of Portable Fire Extinguishers

Choose the fire extinguisher that best fits your needs according to the size and type of fire that could potentially occur. For example, you wouldn’t want a Class K fire extinguisher (smothers fires started by fats and oils) in an office building where a paper or electrical fire is more probable.  Be sure to space fire extinguishers based on federal, state, and industry standards.

Fire extinguishers must be mounted on brackets or in wall cabinets with the extinguisher’s handle placed 3-1/2 to 5 feet above the floor – an easy position for someone to quickly grab the extinguisher in an emergency. Larger fire extinguishers should be mounted lower to keep the handle at 3 feet from the floor.

Every business should have a program that ensures the regular inspection of fire extinguishers each month.  This program should include:

  • Extinguishers always remain in their selected locations, clearly visible and not blocked by objects or equipment that would prevent immediate use in an emergency.
  • Extinguishers should be accompanied by a bright visible sign or label, particularly glow-in-the-dark for visibility during dark or smoky conditions.
  • Inspection Tags should be up-to-date and facing out.
  • Pressure gauges must display a full charge.
  • Extinguisher is in good physical condition, i.e. no corrosion or leaks and pins and tamper seals are still intact.

Portable Fire Extinguisher FYI Part I

Types of Portable Fire Extinguishers:

Class A:

  • Identified by the letter A surrounded by a green triangle
  • Contains Water
  • Used for wood, paper, i.e. the most common flammable items
  • The most common Portable Fire Extinguisher

Class B:

  • Identified by the letter B surrounded by a red square
  • Used for flammable liquids, i.e. oil, grease, gas
  • Contains dry chemicals, carbon dioxide, or halogenated agents to smother fire with a thick foam

Class C:

  • Identified by the letter C surrounded by a blue circle
  • Used for live electrical equipment, i.e. electrical boxes, panels, transformers
  • Contains dry chemicals (see Class B)

Class D:

  • Identified by the letter D surrounded by a yellow star
  • Used for combustible materials
  • Contains dry powder agent (specific to combustible metal in use)

Class K:

  • Identified by the letter K
  • Used for fats, grease, and oils in commercial kitchens
  • Contains wet chemicals (potassium acetate)

In our next installment of Portable Fire Extinguisher FYI, we’ll discuss the maintenance and proper placement of Fire Extinguishers. Click here to see Emedco’s line of portable fire extinguishers and accessories.