Danger of Fires
- In 2013, Fire Departments across the United States responded to over 1.2 million fires.
- There were 3,240 fire-related deaths and 15,925 injuries in the United States.
- Fires caused $11.5 billion in direct property losses throughout the entire country.
- A majority of fire-related deaths are the result of smoke-inhalation.
- Only 1/3 of Americans have practiced a fire escape plan.
Key Portable Fire Extinguisher Regulations
- Portable Fire Extinguishers must be conspicuously located where they are easily accessible if a fire should break out.
- Portable Fire Extinguishers must be placed along paths typically traveled by employees, customers or other personnel.
- Portable Fire Extinguishers must be clearly marked and visible and not obstructed from view by other objects.
- Fire Extinguishers must be installed at least 4 inches from the ground
- Fire Extinguishers weighing less than 40 pounds may not be installed more than 5 feet off the ground.
- Fire Extinguishers weighing greater than 50 pounds may not be installed more than 3.5 feet off the ground.
- Your Portable Fire Extinguisher must have a tag or a label clearly indicating when its last maintenance was performed. The label must include the name of the individual and/or company performing the service.
- Inspection and Maintenance must be performed by a certified company at least once a year.
Fire Prevention & Fire Safety
- Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarms should be inspected or tested at least once a month.
- Install a working sprinkler system and photoluminescent lighting.
- Have your staff take a certified Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) course. This will not just cover fire safety, but other forms of life safety as well.
- Have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your residence or business.
- Never allow water near a power cord. Do not leave a power cord partially or loosely plugged in.
- If you work in a kitchen or have a staff that works in a kitchen, do not wear loose or baggy clothing. Ill-fitting clothing is more susceptible to coming into a hot flame or surface.
- Follow the “3 feet rule.” Keep pets and children at least 3 feet away from any appliance that could start a fire.
- Regularly clean your kitchen vents and exhaust systems. Do not allow grease and oil to build up, as they are among the leading causes of kitchen fires. Grease and oil can also cause deterioration of your kitchen roof.
- Have your facilities regularly inspected by experienced Fire Protection professionals who understand fire safety regulations of your municipality, state and country
- Keep combustible or flammable items such as potholders, boxes and plastic utensils away from hot surfaces and hot water.
- Appoint a fire marshal or captain on each floor of your building. In the event of a fire, this person will be responsible for ensuring that everyone on the floor, including people in bathrooms and obscured rooms, knows that they must escape.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your business and residence. New York State law requires all commercial restaurants and dwellings to have carbon monoxide detectors (effective June, 2015.)
- Understand your state or municipality’s fire prevention and/or fire safety code. For example, New York State is covered by the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. New York City is subject to its own code.
If there is a Fire
- Always use the correct type of fire extinguisher. Failure to do so could make a fire worse.
- If it is an ordinary fire such as wood, paper or other combustibles, use a Type A Fire Extinguisher.
- If it is a fire involving combustible liquids or gases, use a Type B Fire Extinguisher.
- If it is a fire from an electrical explosion or failure, use a type C Fire Extinguisher.
- If it is a Kitchen Fire involving grease, fats or cooking oils, use a type K Fire Extinguisher.
- Have your customers and employees exit the premises in an orderly fashion through either the front door or your designated fire escape area(s)
- Always place the back of your hand on a door before opening it. If it feels hot, go through another door or find another exit.
- If you are obstructed by smoke, crawl low to the ground where the air is most breathable.
- If you are trained to do so, once a safe distance away from the smoke and fire, administer first aid to anyone who needs it while awaiting the arrival of emergency personnel.
- (NFPA “Fire Loss in the United States”)
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