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Since October is Fire Prevention Month,  The Division of Public Safety's Department of Fire and Emergency Services offers the community the following fire prevention tips to prevent fires at work. For more about Fire and Emergency Services, see, For more about fire safety, especially for those living off-campus, see Cooperation Between the University and Community, Off Campus Living 20safety2.html.

Fire Prevention At Work

Preventing Fire Hazards

You can help prevent fires at your worksite, by following these guidelines:

  • Keep equipment and machinery clean and in good operating condition.
  • Make sure that all electrical equipment is protected.
  • Never overload circuits.
  • Store flammable/combustible materials in appropriate containers away from heat sources.
  • Keep work and refuse areas clean and free of debris.
  • Dispose of flammables according to established safety guidelines.
  • Never leave open flames unattended.
  • Use caution when operating welding and other spark-producing equipment.
  • Clean up (if appropriate) or report all spills.
  • Keep fire exits/escape routes clear.
  • Know where alarm boxes are located and the University emergency phone  # 511.

Jobsite Fire Prevention

Fires are very costly. Each year they take many lives, cause workers and their families to suffer, and cost many millions of dollars in damages.

Fire control is everyone's business. You can do your part by observing and complying with fire prevention rules. If you notice any hazards or conditions that could cause a fire, report them to your supervisor immediately.

Matches and cigarettes are principal causes of fires. Many fires have started because of carelessly dropped live ashes, cigarette butts, or burning matches. The temperature of the ash is often as high as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and if it comes in contact with combustibles, fire can result.

Poor housekeeping is one of the major contributing factors that cause fires. Oily rags, paper, sawdust, solvents, paints and cartons should be disposed of properly.  Trash should not be allowed to accumulate in the work area.

Oil or gasoline that is spilled on equipment should be cleaned up immediately. Make sure that oil-soaked rags are placed in proper safety containers.

Paint, paint thinners, alcohol, naphtha, lacquer thinner and gasoline should be used only for their intended purposes. Flammable liquids of any kind must be kept in approved safety containers.

The thoughtless use of welding equipment can easily destroy our jobs. Fire-resistant covers, spark shields and a fire watcher standing by, plus the proper use of the equipment are some of the ways to prevent damaging fire losses.

Defective wiring has caused many fires.  Never try to repair wiring or equipment unless you are qualified to do so. Report defective items and have the repairs made by a properly trained person.

-- Department of Fire and Emergency Services



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 9, October 21, 2003