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Session 10

Laboratory Safety Training

Fire Safety Emergency
Preparedness

1

the fire will go out. and a Chemical Chain Reaction. Fire extinguishers function by removing one of the four components of the Fire Tetrahedron. Heat. 2 . This is represented by the Fire Tetrahedron. Oxygen. When any of the four items are removed. Fuel.Chemistry of Fire Fire Tetrahedron In order for fire to occur four things must be present.

Smoldering Stage . 3 . decomposition is occurring at the surface of the fuel due to the influence of some form of heat.At this stage. Products of combustion given off at this stage are invisible to the eye. most fires have quite humble beginnings and grow through four stages: Incipient Stage .THE FOUR STAGES OF COMBUSTION Explosions excepted. up to 10% of the decomposing products released at the surface of the fuel are visible.At this stage.

4 . Heat Stage . sending warm products of combustion upwards by convection.Vapors from the decomposing fuel have ignited and are at the stage where flames are self propagating.THE FOUR STAGES OF COMBUSTION  Flaming Stage .At this stage the burning has progressed to the point where the fire is still small but generating sufficient heat to warm the air immediately around the fire.

5 .THE FOUR STAGES OF COMBUSTION  The time required for a fire to develop through the first two stages is usually quite long when compared to the last two. the time involved going through all stages may be anything from seconds to days.  Depending on conditions.

These principles are: COOLING The most commonly used fire fighting medium is water. Water absorbs heat from the fire and cools the fuel to a temperature where it no longer produces flammable vapors. 6 . SMOTHERING   By excluding the oxygen in the surrounding atmosphere.THE CHEMISTRY OF FIRE EXTINCTION The principles of fire extinction consist of the elimination or removal of one or more of the four elements. the fire will be extinguished.

Sometimes combustible material can be removed such as by shutting off gas valves or fuel flows. STOP CHAIN REACTION  Stop or interrupt the chain reaction between the fuel.  Specific methods of extinguishing fires often involve a combination of more than one of the four principles 7 .THE CHEMISTRY OF FIRE EXTINCTION STARVATION  Starvation is achieved by removal of the fuel burning in the fire. heat and oxygen the fire will be extinguished.

 CLASS ‘B’ (Combustible Liquids). butane. propane. acetylene. This class of fire involves gases in either vapor or liquefied form. paint. aluminum. namely carbon compounds such as wood.Classes of Fires  CLASS ‘A’ (Combustible Solids). Methane. 8 . are examples of likely fuels. They are the most common class of fire. either as a spillage of the liquid or leak of vapor. etc. etc. These are fires involving solid material of an organic nature. Fires involving liquids or liquefiable solids such as. Fires involving metals such as magnesium. cloth.  CLASS ‘C’ (Combustible Gases). certain organometallic compounds such as alkyllithium and Grignard reagents. thinners. paper. organic liquids.  CLASS ‘D’ (Combustible Metals). sodium or potassium. fat. hydrogen. etc. oil.

 ELECTRICITY Electricity presents a special hazard in a fire situation.Classes of Fires Cont. 9 . by switching off the power).g. a nonconductive extinguishing agent should be used. the heat source is removed and the remaining fire should be dealt with according to its class. Electricity does not burn. it produces heat which may result in one of the classes of fire. If the source of electricity cannot be eliminated. If the electricity is removed (e.

Squeeze the lever above the handle: This discharges the agent. you must be within 10 ft of the fire.    Pull the pin: This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher. Some extinguishers have a button instead of a lever. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge. Generally. Aim. Aim low: Point the extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the fire. to use a hand-held fire extinguisher effectively. Some extinguishers may have other lever-release mechanisms. 10 . Follow the fourstep procedure: Pull.Remember the PASS-word Keep your back to an unobstructed exit and stand six to eight feet away from the fire. Squeeze and Sweep (PASS).

even if you think you've extinguished the fire. 11 .  Always be sure the fire department inspects the fire site. repeat the process.  Sweep from side to side: Moving carefully toward the fire. Watch the fire area.Remember the PASSword. If the fire re-ignites. keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out.

12 . 3.The fire is confined to a small area and is not spreading. 2.You have an unobstructed escape route to which the fire will not spread.The extinguisher is the right type for the fire. 4. make sure that: 1. or is leaving the building and that TAMU Emergency services (9-911) has been called.Should You Attempt to Fight the Fire? Before you begin to fight a fire.Everyone has left.

It is reckless to fight a fire in any other circumstances. leave immediately. Instead. You have read the instructions and that you know how to use the extinguisher.Should You Attempt to Fight the Fire? 5. and call: TAMU Emergency Services at 9-911 13 . close off the area.