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Fire Safety

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.

KEY ELEMENTS OF FIRE SAFETY

» 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.

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
» 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