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Fire Hazards and Life Safety

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1 Fire Hazards and Life Safety
Chapter 19 Fire Hazards and Life Safety

2 Major Topics Sources of fire hazards Detection of fire hazards
Reduction of fire hazards Flame retardant clothing Fire safety programs OSHA’s fire fighting options

3 Three elements of the Fire Triangle
Fire is a chain reaction. For combustion to continue, there must be a constant source of fuel, oxygen, and heat [fig 19-1 page 403].

4 Fire is a chemical reaction
Fire or combustion is a chemical reaction between oxygen and a combustible fluid. Combustion is the process by which fire converts fuel and oxygen into energy, usually in the form of heat. The ignition point or combustion point is the temperature at which a given fuel can burst into flame.

5 Where is carbon found? Carbon is found in almost every flammable substance. When a substance burns, the carbon is released and then combines with oxygen that must be present to form either carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide.

6 Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide is produced when there is more oxygen than the fire needs. It is not toxic, but can be produced in such volumes that it seriously reduces the concentration of oxygen in the air surrounding the fire site. Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, deadly gas, is the result of incomplete combustion of a fuel. It is produced when there is insufficient oxygen to burn the fuel completely.

7 Combustion of liquids, solids, and gases
Liquids and solids such as oil and wood do not burn directly but must first be converted into a flammable vapor by heat. Hold a match to a sheet of paper, and the paper will burst into flames. Look closely at the paper, and you will see that the paper is not burning. The flames reside in a vapor area just above the surface of the sheet.

8 Three methods of heat transfer
Conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction is direct thermal energy transfer. Metals are very good conductors of heat. Concrete is a poor conductor and hence a good insulator. Convection is heat transfer through the movement of hot gases. Convection determines the general direction of the spread of a fire. Radiation is electromagnetic wave transfer of heat to a solid. A fire in one oil tank can spread to nearby tanks through radiated heat, raising the temperature and pressure of the other tank contents. Sun’s radiation of heat.

9 Pile of oil soaked rags in a closed container
Spontaneous combustion: A classic example of spontaneous combustion is a pile of oil soaked rags. The fibers of the rags expose a large surface area to oxidation. The porous nature of the rags allow additional oxygen to be absorbed, replacing the oxygen already consumed. When the temperature rises sufficiently, the surfaces of the oil on the rags vaporize. Spontaneous combustion is rare, but it can happen.

10 Direction a fire normally travels
Convection causes fires to rise as heat rises and move in the direction of prevailing air currents.

11 Something in the room that will not burn
Almost everything in an industrial environment can burn. Metal furniture, machines, plaster, and concrete block walls are usually painted. Most paints and lacquers will easily catch fire. The principal method of fire prevention is passive – the absence of sufficient heat.

12 Classes of fires Class A fires: Solid materials such as wood, plastics, textiles and their products: paper, housing, clothing. Class B fires: Flammable liquids and gases. Class C fires: electrical – live electricity situations. Class D fires: Combustible, easily oxidized metals such as aluminum, magnesium, titanium and zirconium. Special Categories: extremely active oxidizers or mixtures, flammables containing oxygen, nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, and solid missile propellants.

13 Packing material All of the packing materials such as cardboard, Styrofoam, papers, bubble wrap and shrink wrap easily burn.

14 Flash point, fire point and auto-ignition temperature
Flash point: is the lowest temperature for a given fuel at which vapors are produced in sufficient concentration to flash in the presence of a source of ignition. Fire point: is the minimum temperature at which the vapors continue to burn given a source of ignition. Auto-ignition temperature: is the lowest point at which the vapors of a liquid or solid self-ignite without a source of ignition.

15 Stability: combustible liquids and flammable liquids
Flammable liquids have a flash point below 1000F [37.70C]. Most flammable liquids are lighter than water. So water cannot be used to put the fire out. Crude oil fires burn even when floating on fresh or sea water. Combustible liquids have a flash point at or higher than 1000F. Both flammable and combustible liquids are further divided into three classifications shown in fig 19.5 on page 406.

16 Which way do gases usually travel
Gases may stratify in layers of differing concentrations but often collect near the top of whatever container in which they are enclosed. Concentrations found to be safe when sampled at workbench level may be close to, or exceed, flammability levels if sampled just above head height.

17 NFPA hazards identification system
Fig 19-6 page 407. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) red, blue, yellow and white diamond is used on product labels, shipping cartons and buildings. Ratings within each category are 0 to 4, where 0 represents no hazard; and 4 the most severe hazard level. Colors refer to a specific category of hazard: Red = flammability (fire hazard) Blue = health (health hazard) Yellow = reactivity (chemical hazard) White = special information (special hazards presented by the material written in)

18 Four ways electricity can cause a fire
Electrical lines and equipment can cause fires either by a short circuit that provides an ignition spark, by arcs, or by resistances generating a heat buildup. Electrical switches and relays commonly arc as a contact is made or broken. Another source of ignition is heat in the form of hot surfaces. It is easy to see the flame hazard present when cooking oil is poured on a very hot grill. Space heaters frequently have hot sides. Many types of electric lighting generate heat which is transferred to the lamp housing. Engines produce heat especially in their exhaust systems. Compressors produce heat through friction, which is transferred to their housing. Heated surfaces area potential source of fire.

19 Leading causes of fire related deaths
National Fire Protection Association statistics show that most people die in fires from suffocating or breathing smoke and toxic fumes. The number one killer in fires is carbon monoxide, which is produced in virtually all fires involving organic compounds. Carbon monoxide is produced in large volumes and can quickly reach lethal dosage concentrations. Carbon dioxide can lead to suffocation because it can be produced in large volumes, depleting oxygen from the air. Many fire extinguishers use carbon dioxide because of its ability to starve the fire of oxygen while simultaneously cooling the fire.

20 Toxic Chemicals often produced by fires
Fig 19-7 page 409 shows the major chemical products of combustion: Acrolein, Ammonia, Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Hydrogen Chloride, Hydrogen Sulfide, Nitrogen dioxide, and Sulfur dioxide. Not all of these gases are present at any particular fire site. Many of these compounds will further react with other substances often present at a fire. For example sulfur dioxide will combine with water to produce sulfuric acid. Oxides of nitrogen may combine with water to produce nitric acid. Sulfuric acid and nitric acid can cause serious acid burns.

21 Systems utilized by smoke detectors
Thermal expansion detectors use a heat-sensitive metal link that melts at a predetermined temperature to make contact and ultimately sound an alarm. Heat sensitive insulation can be used which melts at a predetermined temperature thereby initiating a short circuit and activating the alarm. Photoelectric fire sensors detect changes in infrared energy that is radiated by smoke often by the smoke particles obscuring the photoelectric beam. A relay is open under acceptable conditions, and closed to complete the alarm circuit when smoke interferes. Ionization or radiation sensors use the tendency of a radioactive substance to ionize when exposed to smoke. The substance becomes electrically conductive with the smoke exposure and permits the alarm circuit to be completed. Ultraviolet or infrared detectors sound an alarm when the radiation from fire flames is detected. When rapid changes in radiation intensity are detected, a fire alarm signal is given. OSHA has mandated the monthly and annual inspection and recordings of the condition of fire extinguishers in industrial settings.

22 Life saving preparation for a fire disaster
Training employees may be the most successful life saving preparation for a fire disaster. Company fire brigade members should be trained and tested at least quarterly. Disaster preparation initially requires management commitment and planning and continued response and recovery practice by the fire brigade on a regular basis. Also necessary are regular, but less frequent fire drills for all personnel. Disaster preparation also includes the integration of company planning with community plans. Community disaster relief agencies such as the police, fire department, Red Cross, and hospitals should be consulted and informed of company disaster preparation plans.

23 Preventing Office Fires
Every year about 7000 fires occur in office buildings, which cause injuries, deaths, and millions of dollars in fire damages. Confine smoking to designated areas that are equipped with non-tip ashtrays and fire-resistant furnishings. Periodically check electrical circuits and connections. Replace frayed or worn cords immediately. Make sure that extension cords and other accessories are UL approved and used only as recommended. Make sure there is plenty of air space left around copying machines and other office machines that can overheat. Locate heat producing appliances away from the wall or anything else that can ignite. Frequently inspect personal appliances such as hotplates, coffee pots and cup warmers. Assign responsibility for turning off such appliances every day to a specific person. Keep aisles, stairwells, and exits clear of paper, boxes and other combustible material.

24 Trend with regard to future fire safety standards
The purpose of modern fire safety standards is the protection of life and the prevention of property damage. The trend in fire safety standards is towards performance based standards and away from the traditional specification based approach. A specification based standard may require that brick , concrete, or steel material be used in a given type of building. A performance based standard may specify the material used have a one, two or four hour fire resistance rating. Advances in the testing of engineering materials will help overcome most of the barriers to full development and implementation of performance based standards.

25 Life Safety Life safety involves protecting the vehicles, vessels and lives of people in buildings and structures from fire. The primary reference source for life safety is the Life Safety Code published by the National Fire Protection Association. It addresses the construction, protection, and occupancy features necessary to minimize the hazards of fire, smoke, fumes, and panic. A major part of the code is devoted to the minimum requirements for design necessary to ensure that occupants can quickly evacuate a building or structure.

26 Fabrics prohibited in environments that are flame or arc prone
Clothing made from the following types of fabrics either alone or in blends is prohibited unless the employer can show that the fabric has been treated to withstand the conditions that may be encountered or that the clothing is worn in such a manner as to eliminate the hazard involved: acetate, nylon, polyester, rayon.

27 OSHA regulations for fire brigades
With this option only those employees who are part of an established fire brigade are allowed to fight fires. Fire brigades are divided into two types: incipient and interior structural. An incipient fire brigade is used to control only small fires. It requires no special protective clothing or equipment. An interior structural fire brigade may fight any type of fire provided it has been issued the appropriate protective clothing and equipment.

28 Key components of fire safety program
A comprehensive fire safety program should have at least the following components: assessment, planning, awareness/prevention, and response. Assessment of the workplace for fire hazards should be continuous and ongoing. Members of the fire safety committee should be trained in the fundamentals of fire hazard assessment by the safety and health professional. Planning: Fire safety plan should have: emergency escape procedures and routes, critical shutdown procedures, employee headcount procedures, rescue and medical procedures, procedures for reporting fires and emergencies, and important contact personnel for additional information. Awareness and Prevention: All employees should receive awareness training so that they understand the role in carrying out the emergency plan. Response: One of the fire safety committee’s most important responsibilities is to arrange periodic drills so that employees automatically respond properly.

29 Precautions for dip tanks, oil burners, and spray painting booths
Dip tanks: Dipping operations involving flammable or combustible substances should take place in a stand alone one storey building constructed of non combustible material. The building should be well ventilated, clearly marked as a hazardous area, free of ignition sources, and large. The dip tank itself should be covered and contain an automatic fire extinguishing system. Oil burners: Select proper fuel to prevent accumulation of soot. Supply tank should be located outside the building housing the oil burner and should be under ground. The oil burner should have an automatic system for preventing the discharge of unburned oil into a hot firebox. Spray painting booths: The hazard associated with spray painting booths is that an explosive mixture of paint vapor and air can occur. To prevent such occurrences, proper ventilation is critical. Regular cleaning of the booth to remove accumulated spray deposits is also important. Paint booths should be equipped with automatic fire protection systems.

30 OSHA’s manual fire fighting options
Three options: 1. All employees fight fire: Employees are first required to have and understand an emergency action plan provided by the company, have and understand a fire prevention plan provided by the company, and complete annual training and refresher training concerning their duties in fighting fires and in the proper use of fire extinguishers. 2. Designated employees fight fires: Designated employees are first required to have and understand an emergency action plan provided by the company, have and understand a fire prevention plan provided by the company, and complete annual training and refresher training concerning their duties fighting fires and in how to properly use fire extinguishers. 3. Fire brigades fight fires: Employees who are part of the incipient (fight only small fires) fire brigade are required to have and understand an emergency action plan provided by the company, have and understand a fire prevention plan provided by the company, have and understand an organizational statement that establishes the scope, organizational structure, training, equipment and functions of the fire brigade, have and understand standard operating procedures for the fire brigade to follow during emergencies, and complete annual training and refresher training that is hands on in nature. Requirements of an internal structural fire brigade (can fight all fires) include the above and satisfactory completion of medical examinations that verify their fitness to participate, special protective clothing and equipment of the type used by local fire fighting departments including self contained breathing equipment, and quarterly training and retraining that is hands on in nature.

31 Summary Fire hazards are conditions that favor fire development or growth. The elements required to start a fire are oxygen, fuel, and heat. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, deadly gas. Almost everything in an industrial environment can burn. Fires are classified as Class A, B, C, or D fires. A red, blue, yellow, and white diamond label is used to identify hazards present when a substance burns. A comprehensive fire safety program should have the following: assessment, planning, awareness, prevention, and response. OSHA provides specific requirements for manual fire fighting in 3 approaches: all employees, designated employees, and fire brigades.

32 Home Work Answer questions 1, 8, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 24, 26, 27 and 28 on page 427. 1. What are the 3 elements of the fire triangle? 8. In which direction does a fire normally travel? 10. What are the classes of fires? 14. Which way do gases usually travel? 15. Describe the NFPA hazards identification system. 16. In what 4 ways can electricity cause a fire? 17. What are the leading causes of fire related deaths? 20. What is the most successful life saving preparation for a fire disaster? 24. What types of fabrics are prohibited in environments that are flame or arc prone? 26. Summarize the key components of a fire safety program. 27. Describe the precautions that should be taken for dip tanks, oil burners, and spray paint booths. 28. Explain all 3 OSHA’s manual fire fighting options.

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