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Toolbox Talk - Fire Extinguishers

Toolbox Talk - Fire Extinguishers
Disclaimer: This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. However, it is to be used for reference purposes only and is not intended to cover all aspects of the topic presented.


Just as there is a right tool for every job, there is a right extinguisher for every fire. The class of an extinguisher, identified on its nameplate, corresponds to the class or classes of fire the extinguisher controls. On most construction jobs, we are concerned with Class A, B and C fires. Consequently, the best extinguisher to have on a job is a multi-purpose Class ABC extinguisher, which contains a dry, powdered chemical under pressure. The following describes the classes of fire and the kind of extinguisher that can be used on each.

CLASS A FIRES

For ordinary combustibles, such as wood, paper, trash and other material that has glowing embers when it burns, use a Class A or Class ABC extinguisher. Always remember that a Class A extinguisher contains water and should be used only on a Class A fire. Used on gasoline, it can spread the fire; used on electrical fires, it can cause you to be electrocuted.

CLASS B FIRES

These are fires involving flammable liquids and gases, such things as gasoline, solvents, paint thinners, grease, LPG, and acetylene. Use Class B or Class ABC extinguishers.


CLASS C FIRES

These are fires in energized electrical equipment. Use a Class BC or Class ABC extinguisher.

SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER

  1. Use the fire extinguisher whose class corresponds to the class of the fire.
  2. Never use a Class A extinguisher, which contains water or foam, on a liquid or electrical fire.
  3. Know where extinguishers are located and how to use them. Follow the directions printed on the label.
  4. Keep the area around the fire extinguisher clear for easy access.
  5. Don't hide the extinguisher by hanging coats, rope, or other materials on it.
  6. Take care of the extinguishers just as you do your tools.
  7. Never remove tags from extinguishers. They indicate the last time the extinguisher was serviced and inspected.
  8. Report defective or suspect extinguishers to your Supervisor, so that they can be replaced or repaired.
  9. When inspecting extinguishers, look for cracked hoses, plugged nozzles, and corrosion. Also, look for damage that may have been done by equipment running into the extinguishers. Make the sure the gauge shows an appropriate pressure.
  10. Don't use extinguishers for purposes other than fighting fires.

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Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2012 (Archive on Tuesday, May 06, 2014)
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