A-1 Fire & Safety L.L.C. Lic # 244
 
 

1-800-322-0096

Fire Safety

Fire is the third leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States, yet most people ignore it. More than 150 workplace fires occur everyday.

An estimated 5,900 restaurant building fires occur annually in the United States, resulting in an average of 75 injuries and $172 million in property loss.


How Fires Start

Fire is a chemical reaction involving rapid oxidation or burning of a fuel. It needs three elements to occur.

FUEL - Fuel can be any combustible material - solid, liquid or gas. Most solids and liquids become vapor or gas before they will burn.

OXYGEN - The air we breathe is about 21 percent oxygen, fire only needs an atmosphere with atleast 16 percent oxygen.

HEAT- Heat is the energy necessary to increase the temperature of the fuel to a point where sufficient vapors are given off for ignition to occur.

CHEMICAL REACTION - A chain reaction can occur when the three elements of fire are present in the proper conditions and proportions. Fire occurs when this rapid oxidation, or burning takes place.

Take any of these factors away and the fire cannot occur or will be extinguished if it was already burning.
How Fires Are Classified

 Class A fires are fires that involve ordinary combustible materials such as cloth, wood, paper, rubber and many plastics.

Class B fires are fires that involve flammable and combustible liquids such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel oil, oil-based paints, lacquers, etc. and flammable gases.
Class C fires are fires that involve energized electrical equipment.
Class D fires are fires that involve Combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium and sodium.
Class K fires are fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. This is for commercial kitchens, including those found in resturants, cafeterias, and caterers.

How To Prevent Fires

Class A
- Ordinary Combustibles:
-Keep storage and working ares free of trash, place oily rags in covered containers.

Class B - Flammable liquids or gases:
-Don't refuel gasoline-powered equipment in confined space, especially in the presence of an open flame such as a furnace or water heater.
-Don't refuel gasoline-powered equipment while it is hot.
-Keep flammable liquids stored in tightly closed, self-closing, spill-proof containers. Pour from storage drums only what you will need.
-Store flammable liquids away from spark-producing sources, or in a fireproof cabinet.
-Use flammable liquids only in well ventilated areas.

Class C - Electrical equipment:
-Look for old wiring, worn insulation and broken electrical fittings.
 -Prevent motors from overheating by keeping them clean and in good working order. A spark from a rough running motor can ignite the oil and dust in it.
-Utility lights should always have some type of wire guard over them. Heat from an uncovered light bulb can easily ignite ordinary combustibles.
-Don't misuse fuses. Never install a fuse rated higher than specified for the circuit.
-Investigate any appliance or electrical equipment that smells strange. Unusual odors can be the first sign of fire.
-Don't overload wall outlets. Two outlets should have no more than two plugs.

Class D - Flammable metals:
-Flammable metals such as magnesium and titanium generally take a very hot heat source to ignite; however once ignited are difficult to extinguish as the burning reaction produces sufficient oxygen to support combustion, even under water.
-In some cases, covering the burning metal with sand can help contain the heat and sparks from the reaction. Class D extinguishing agent s are available (generally as a dry powder in a bucket or a box) which can be quite effective.
-Pure metals such as potassium and sodium react violently  (even explosively) with water and some other chemicals, and must be handled with care. Generally these metals are stored in sealed containers in a non-reactive liquid to prevent decay (surface oxidation) from contact with moisture in the air.
-White phosphorus is air-reactive and will burn/explode on contact with room air. It must be kept in a sealed container with a non-reactive solution to prevent contact with air.
When Not To Fight A Fire

Never fight a fire:
-If the fire is spreading rapidly beyond the spot where it started.
-If you can't fight the fire with your back to an escape exit.
-If the fire can block your only escape.
-If you don't have adequate fire-fighting equipment.
In any of these situation,

DON'T FIGHT THE FIRE YOURSELF!
CALL FOR HELP.


How To Extinguish Small Fires

Class A -
Extinguish ordinary combustibles by cooling the material below it's ignition temperature and soaking the fibers to prevent re-ignition.
Use multipurpose ABC dry chemical extinguishers. DO NOT USE carbon dioxide or ordinary BC dry chemical extinguishers on Class A fires.

Class B - Extinguish
flammable liquids, greases or gases by removing the oxygen, preventing the vapors from reaching the ignition source or inhibiting the chemical chain reaction.
Use Carbon Dioxide, BC, ABC, or Halotron Extinguishers on class B fires.

Class C - Extinguish energized electrical equipment by using an extinguishing agent that is not capable of conducting electrical currents.
Use Carbon Dioxide, BC, ABC, or Halotron Extinguishers on class C fires. DO NOT USE WATER extinguishers on energized electrical equipment.

Class D - Extinguish combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium with dry powder extinguishing agents specially designed for the material involved.
In most cases, they absorb the heat from the material, cooling it below its ignition temperature.

Class K - Extinguish cooking oils, vegetable oils, fats by using an extinguishing agent specifically designed to cover and smother liquid grease fires.
Use Class K extinguisher only. DO NOT USE Carbon Dioxide as it may cause splatter fire and severe injury, Typical extinguishers also may cause splatter and will definately cause re-flash.

Note:  Multipurpose ABC chemical extinguishers leave a corrosive residue that can harm sensitive equipment, such as computers and any other type of electronic equipment. With enough exposure ABC dry chemical will cause tools to rust (it is mildly corrosive to all metals). Because of this, carbon dioxide or Halotron extinguishers are preferred in any area where there are computer, servers, or any other type of electronic equipment. If ABC chemical is used in shops, the powder must be thoroughly cleaned off of all tools and equipment as soon as possible. 

 
REMEMBER:

- Should your path of escape be threatened.
- Should the extinguisher run out of agent.
- Should the extinguisher prove to be ineffective against type of fire.
- Should you no longer be able to safely fight the fire.

... THEN LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY!
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