Fire Extinguishers

FSO's Fire Safety Specialist, Rob Schadel: Fire Ext. Training

Portable fire extinguishers are provided in university buildings and available for use by trained personnel. Individuals who have been trained in the principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved may attempt to extinguisher small and early stage fires at their discretion. Individuals not trained in the proper use of extinguishers should not attempt to use one during a fire but should evacuate and report the fire.

Employees that have been assigned as Evacuation Wardens shall be trained to know the locations and proper use of portable fire extinguishers. Anyone who uses a laboratory or works with flammable and/or combustible materials should enroll in a portable Fire Extinguisher Training session. We welcome all interested members of the university community to enroll in a session, and we encourage you to learn more about fire extinguishers on campus. Remember, you should never attempt to fight a fire if you are not trained in portable fire extinguisher use.

Helpful information can also be viewed at http://www.emd.wa.gov/preparedness/videos/video_using_a_fire_extinguisher.shtml (link leaves EH&S site. NOTE: the linked video does not meet the portable Fire Extinguisher Training requirement).


Training

Environmental Health & Safety offers hands-on Fire Extinguisher Training regularly (see current class schedule to register). All university employees and students are encouraged to participate in this training program.


Type and Location

A fire extinguisher should be located within a short walking distance (typically less then 75 ft.) from all points in a building. Laboratories and other areas with chemicals and higher levels of combustibles will be provided with an extinguisher in the lab/room or nearby in an adjoining corridor. The proximity, type, and size is dependent on the materials in a building. Multipurpose ABC dry chemical fire extinguishers in 5 to 10 pound size are most common to laboratories and ABC type extinguishers are widely used throughout campus. As part of your pre-emergency planning locate the nearest fire extinguisher to your work area or laboratory.


Inspection & Maintenance

Certified personnel must inspect fire extinguishers at least annually. At the Seattle campus, fire extinguishers are maintained by Campus Operations (Phone: 206.685.1411). Certified staff perform maintenance at least annually in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 10, which is recorded on the fire extinguisher's tag.

University departments must complete monthly inspections of extinguishers in their area, referred to as a "quick-check" in the NFPA 10. One way to meet this requirement is to perform the inspection along with monthly workplace safety inspections (get the checklist here).