Fire Safety Is Up To You

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Here are some key points.

  • Always keep an eye out for fire hazards.
  • Act quickly, but don’t panic if you spot a fire.
  • Know where our fire exits, fire extinguishers and emergency telephone numbers are located.

What causes fires?

  • Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in workplace fires.
  • Many of these fires can be prevented by being more careful and by knowing how to spot fire hazards.
  • Some common causes of workplace fires are:
      • smoking
      • poor housekeeping
      • faulty electrical equipment
      • overloaded circuits
      • chemical reactions

How to prevent fires

  1. Don’t smoke near paper, wood, hay, flammable liquids or other materials that could easily burn. Follow our smoking rules and only smoke in designated areas. Be careful where you discard cigarette butts and matches — and be sure they are out.
  2. Keep your work area neat. Use the proper trash containers. Don’t leave trash, oily rags, packing materials or other combustible items on the floor or ground.
  3. Be on the lookout for such potential fire hazards as frayed electrical cords, overloaded circuits, equipment or tools that spark or smoke, and spilled chemicals. Immediately report any hazards to your supervisor.
  4. Store chemicals in the correct labeled containers and make sure the lids are on tightly. Don’t use paint or other flammable liquids in areas with poor ventilation. Remember that some chemicals give off vapors that can ignite.
  5. Check the labeling and material safety data sheets (MSDS) of the chemicals you work with.Know which ones are flammable and whether they can be safely mixed with other chemicals.

If you spot smoke or flames

  • Act quickly, but don’t panic.
  • Immediately get to safety. Yell to others as you go. If there is a manually activated fire alarm along your escape route, activate it to alert others.
  • Notify the fire department. If you can’t do it safely, ask someone else to call.
  • If you are in a closed area and the door feels warm or you see smoke, don’t open the door. Look for an alternate exit and yell for help.
  • Stay low if you are escaping from a building in flames. You will breathe in less smoke near the floor.

Other fire safety tips

  • Keep fire escape routes clear and never block fire exits.
  • If you spot an extinguisher with a missing safety pin or a gauge that indicates it has been discharged, immediately notify your supervisor.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing if you are working near open flames or sparks. Check with your supervisor if you are uncertain about the clothing you are wearing.
  • Don’t try to fight a fire yourself unless:
    • you have been properly trained in using a fire extinguisher
    • the fire is small and is confined to the immediate area
    • everyone is safely out of the way
    • you have an escape route
    • the fire department has been notified
    • Warning: Never try to fight a chemical fire unless the fire department has been notified, you have received specific training in fighting chemical fires, and you are wearing the appropriate PPE.

Fire Safety Do’s and Don’ts


  • Report any fire hazards — including blocked fire exits — to your supervisor.
  • Dispose of all trash in the proper containers.
  • Stay low if you are escaping from a building on fire.
  • Smoke near flammable liquids, paper, wood, hay or anything else that can easily burn.
  • Store chemicals in unlabeled containers.
  • Operate a fire extinguisher unless you have been properly trained.

When you’re ready to work safely, you’re ready to work. See our full line of safety supplies, including respirators, eye and ear protection, coveralls, first aid and more.

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