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Monthly tips from the Assistant Director of Fire Safety

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Enviromental Health and Safety Office

Did you know that fire extinguishers are to be used on fires smaller than a wastepaper basket?

All campus buildings are equipped with fire extinguishers for faculty, staff and students to use in case of emergency.

Before using an extinguisher, employees must understand the different types of fire, and the appropriate fire extinguisher to be used on that type of fire.

There are five classes of fires and extinguishers are labeled with standard letters and symbols for the types of fires they put out:

  • Class A: Ordinary combustibles
  • Class B: Flammable liquids
  • Class C: Energized electrical equipment
  • Class D: Combustible metals
    • NOTE: Fighting Class D fires requires specialized training and should never be attempted by untrained personnel.
  • Class K: Oil used in commercial cooking

Potential users must analyze the situation and make an informed decision regarding what action to take. Fires doubles in size every 30 seconds. Staff, and students, should never unreasonably risk their safety to try and extinguish a fire.

In order to operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS. It stands for:

P - Pull the pin
A - Aim low
S - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly
S - Sweep nozzle from side-to-side.

Extinguisher training sessions will be held in the future. In the meantime, faculty and staff can contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office at x3310 to set up individual sessions.