A material that is combustible will burn very easily when it is very finely divided, like in the form of dust. When there is a concentration of such dust in the air, under certain conditions, it can cause an explosion. Materials, like iron and aluminium, which under normal circumstances will not burn as large pieces, become combustible if they are in the air in the form of a dust. Fume and dust extraction systems can help remove the material from the air such as those supplied by Dust Extraction Online.

Many manufacturing and other production processes, do cause a lot of dust to be created, and when this dust becomes combustible it can cause explosions that lead to injuries and deaths among workers. This can happen in food industries that have candy, feed, flour, starch, spice, grain and sugar. It is also very prevalent in industries like tobacco, coal, dyes, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, rubber, paper and paper pulp, wood and plastic. Metal industries like those of aluminum, zinc, magnesium, iron and chromium are not immune to the production of fine dust that can become combustible.

Any fire requires oxygen, heat and fuel, and dust can become a fuel when it is in very fine form, and the air and heat in a workplace provide the other conditions for fires to ignite spontaneously. This process of deflagration quite often occurs in confined workplaces, or in process vessels or equipment, and invariably results in a rise of temperature and pressure that leads to explosions. This is the dust explosion pentagon formed by air, fuel, heat, confinement and dispersion. Dust explosions will not occur if one of these five conditions is not present, and allows safety engineers to find ways to prevent explosions that can be life threatening in a workplace.

Most workplace explosions become still more dangerous, because they lead to secondary explosions, where dust that has earlier accumulated on various surfaces can get dislodged by the original explosion, and get ignited. These increased quantities of combustible dust make such industrial hazards far more potent. That is why it can be very important to implement proper housekeeping in any industry that contains these hazards by constantly inspecting for combustible dust, testing it and then controlling it by frequent removal. The installation of dust collection systems with filters and proper ventilation can go a long way in increasing safety in workplaces. It can also help if the dust is prevented from escaping during the process, with ventilation systems, strategically placed to collect all dust. Surfaces, both horizontal and vertical, must be treated in such a way that they do not allow dust to collect. Care must be taken to see that any equipment used to collect and remove the dust is also not a source of any of the five conditions that promote explosions.

Explosions can also be prevented if control is maintained on all equipment and other things that can lead to increase in temperature, sparks or heat. Smoking has to be completely prohibited, the use of rubber soled shoes preferred so that there is less friction and thus heat, while all sources of heat and electrical equipment must be kept away from the dust environment.

One of the most efficient ways of preventing combustible dust explosions in workplaces is to ensure that any process producing dust takes place in spaces from which the air can be easily evacuated. Paint booths and similar booths for welding and other buffing and grinding processes that produce dust are quite common, and they make working safer, because they remove the combustible material as soon as it is produced. Extractor fans must be designed to extract the complete volume of air which contains combustible dust, within seconds of it being produced. It also becomes necessary to also ensure proper ventilation so that the extracted volume of air is again replaced. At times this may require the forced form of ventilation.

In many industries the combustible dust can contain material that is quite costly and needs to be retrieved. In such cases the extraction equipment is designed to pass through mechanical, liquid or chemical filters that will enable the material to be used again or even serve as valuable residue that has an economic value. Combustible dust fires and other hazards from combustible dust can be minimized if proper care is taken to address the various factors that lead to explosions.

There are many aspects of safety that must be attended to by those in charge of a company that have a large number of workers that they are responsible for. Educating them on proper ways of navigating to the facility, the proper clothing to wear, how to handle hazardous chemicals, and a variety of other safety issues must be discussed to make sure that your employees are always safe. One of the most important aspects of safety at the workplace has to do with what is called fire safety. Here is an overview of the many things that must be covered, especially in regards to a fire risk assessments, on a regular basis to ensure that your company and employees are properly prepared for dealing with every possible aspect of the dangers of encountering a fire.

Understanding Your Responsibilities

The first thing that you need to recognize, before you do any type of training, or assess the facility that you are at, is to fully recognize that you are responsible for providing your workers with the safest environment possible, especially in regard to fire safety. This is true for people that are landlords of rental properties, or if you are renting or leasing a building in which your employees will be working every day. You are responsible for fire risk assessment, presenting this information to your employees, maintaining appropriate fire safety measures, planning for emergencies that may arise, and making sure that proper training is provided on a regular basis. This also applies if you are building a structure, adding on an extension, or making any type of alteration. Each construction site must also have proper safety procedures and information in place so that your workers will be able to handle fire related incidents should they arise.

Written Records Of Fire Risk Assessment

The process of going through fire risk assessments involves many different factors. First, you must identify all of the possible fire hazards that your employees may encounter, and also determine who will be at risk. Once you have identified possible areas where fires may occur, you either want to reduce the probability of one occurring, or remove the situation altogether. All of your findings must be recorded, and an emergency plan must be crafted based upon what you have discovered, providing proper training for all those involved. Finally, you need to regularly review this information, updating it on a consistent basis, and providing these updates to your employees. This will alert them to all of the possible hazards, old and new, that they may encounter, as well as how to handle each situation. The written records will also serve as legal proof that you have done your job, and by writing everything down with dates when updates were made, this will provide evidence for those that are in charge of safety in your country that you have done your work, to the best of your ability, in regard to protecting the workers at your facility. Below is a video from fire risk assessment company, the Fire Risk Assessment Network.

Creating A Fire Safety Risk Assessment Chart

There are several things that you will need to include on your fire safety risk assessment chart that can help your employees stay as safe as possible. Should a fire breakout, the emergency routes and exits should be clearly presented, as well as fire detection and warning systems locations. Prior to the fire department arriving, they should also know exactly where the firefighting equipment will be in order to safely keep it contained. The report should also have information on the removal, or the safe storage of, what would be considered dangerous substances. The emergency fire evacuation program should also take into account the needs of those that are the most vulnerable. This could be due to their positioning at the facility, their age, and the disabilities that some of them may have which may prevent them from evacuating quickly. By providing this information to your employees, and making it available to those that may be visiting the premises, you will be able to provide all parties that are on the job site with enough information to get them to a safe location should a fire ever breakout. This should be something that is presented at every staff fire safety training so that they will be aware of where they can go when disaster strikes. It is essential that this type of information is provided, as well as actual training sessions that practice the evacuation, so that everyone will have the best possible chance of staying safe.

Possible Penalties That May Be Avoided

It is quite common for local fire and rescue authorities to visit businesses to assess whether or not a fire risk assessment plan has been established. If presented, they may also evaluate what you have done, and ask for certain things to be improved upon. You may do things to the best of your ability and knowledge, but may not be aware of laws or ordinances that have changed, requiring you to update your current assessment plan. By complying with these regulations, you are not only complying with local authorities, but providing your workers with an even better chance of staying safe. There are several notices that you may receive from those in charge of safety in your area which include and alterations, enforcement, and prohibition notice. An alterations notice is given to companies that have high safety risks due to changes at the facility. If they detect that there is a serious problem that has not been managed, especially if they have asked before, an enforcement notice will be given prompting you to make these changes, something that can prevent a prohibition notice from being issued preventing you and your company from working any further.

This basic overview of fire risk management at the workplace can be the difference between saving lives, and having tragedies occur. Fire risk assessment must be done on a regular basis, with all of the information provided to your employees, weighing the odds in their favor of safely avoiding the dangers involved when fires do actually breakout. At the very least, this information will be used by safety committees in your state or country to assess how well prepared your company was for a fire, especially in the aftermath of one that has occurred. If you do not have a fire risk assessment done, or an evacuation plan in place, it is one of the most beneficial and necessary components of any company, especially one that is concerned about legal compliance and the safety of their employees.

No matter the type of business that you conduct at your workplace, it is essential to place an emphasis on keeping with fire safety standards. There are plenty of ways in which you can limit your chances of becoming a victim of a fire in the workplace. It’s always a good idea to hire health and safety consultants to with legal compliance. In this article, we will discuss some of the top fire safety tips that you should implement in the workplace.

Fire Prevention:

1. Keep Work Area Clutter Free.

The first thing that you are going to want to do is make sure that you keep your work area clutter free of things that could easily catch fire. This is essential because you do not want something to accidentally catch fire because of your lack of organization.

2. Check Electrical Cords.

Another thing that you are going to want to do when you are at work is check your electrical cords to make sure that none of them are damaged. You can do this frequently to ensure that you do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk. If a cord is damaged in any way, you will want to be sure to replace it as soon as possible. Another thing that you are going to want to do is avoid laying cords in places where they can be easily stepped on and/or broken. This will help you avoid the deterioration of the outside protective coating of the cords in question.

3. Do Not Overload Circuits.

It is imperative that you do not overload your circuits. This means you should not place a ton of different electronics on the same circuit. This could stress it out too much and make it blow.

4. Turn Off Electrical Appliances.

It is also important to turn off all electrical appliances at the end of the day. This will ensure that nothing happens while no one is at the workplace. By doing this, you are not only going to increase your fire safety, but you will also be able to save a significant amount of money on your electricity bill.

5. Keep Equipment That Produces Significant Amounts Of Heat At Safe Distance.

Another thing that you are going to want to do is keep equipment that produces heat away from anything that could ignite and/or burn. For instance, if you have a copy machine, coffee maker, or anything else, you will want to make sure that you keep it away from anything that could ignite and/or burn easily.

Fire Preparation:

1. Practice Drills.

The fact is, you are not going to know what to do in the event of an emergency if you do not practice regularly. It is essential that you practice what to do in the event of a fire because by doing so, you will better be prepared for what to do when it happens. Because a fire can be a very stressful situation to deal with, it is important to have as much preparation as possible when you are being faced with a real one. The best way to do this is by holding regular fire drills with everyone in your office. This way, everyone knows their role and what they should be doing if it happens. This is going to keep everyone feeling safer and more knowledgable about how to handle different situations.

2. Fire Safety Quizzes.

Try to print out some fire safety questions and have regular quizzes for everyone in the workplace to take. By doing this, you are going to be able to show everyone what they should be doing and it will help ensure that everyone is keeping up to date with their fire safety knowledge.

3. Videos.

You can also watch fire safety videos regularly to show your workforce how to properly handle a fire in an emergency situation. By showing a video, they will be able to see first hand what they should be doing in the case of a fire.

In The Event Of A Fire:

1. Call 911.

The first thing that you are going to want to do if you experience a fire is always call 911. You should call them immediately and do not hang up until you are told to do so.

2. Close Doors When Exiting.

Another thing that you are going to want to do is be sure to close the doors when you are existing and evacuating in order to help reduce the amount of smoke that can spread easily. Also, this will help reduce the chances of the fire spreading quickly through the building.

3. Never Use Elevators.

It is essential that you do not use elevators when you are trying to evacuate the building. An elevator is going to stop working and you are going to get smoked out of it. Always use the stairs in the event of a fire emergency.

4. Follow The Escape Plan.

Another thing that you are going to want to be sure that you do is follow the escape plan that you have drawn up. You should then meet up with your coworkers at a specified location to conduct a head count to ensure that everyone made it out safely. This is going to keep your entire workforce safer as a result.

As you can see, there is plenty that you can do in order to ensure that everyone is safe in the workplace. Be sure to talk about your staff about fire safety in the workplace regularly.

One of the most dangerous aspects of running a business is making sure that fires do not breakout. Having the proper safety equipment in place to alert people to the possibility of a fire, and also having equipment that can fight the fire once it breaks out, is of utmost importance. There are many different types of safety equipment related to protecting workers from a fire including early alarm systems, sprinkler systems that can put out the fire, and of course fire extinguishers. In this article, we will discuss the various ways that companies can prevent fires from happening, and an overview of fire extinguishers that should be on-site at every business.

Safety Equipment For Fires

There is quite a bit of fire safety equipment that should be available for workers at any job site. Some of this equipment includes having access to fire hydrants, escape ladders, fire blankets, alarms, and fire extinguishers to name a few. One of the most important pieces of equipment is a fire extinguisher, a piece of equipment that comes in many different shapes and styles.

Overview Of Fire Extinguishers

There are many different classes of fire extinguishers that are used, each providing a different level of capabilities, each with a different substance that acts as a fire retardant. A Class A fire extinguisher, for example, is very useful when putting out fires involving plastic, cardboard, would and paper. A Class B fire extinguisher is useful for liquids that are flammable which include oil, grease, kerosene and gasoline. Other varieties include Class C for electrical equipment, Class D for combustible metals such as sodium, potassium, and titanium and Class K which are most commonly found in cafeterias or restaurants which are used to put out fires caused by cooking oils.

How Do They Work?

Each fire extinguisher works in a very similar way, but they may use different substances to put the fires out. There is usually a pin that is pulled allowing the user to pull a trigger or handle that will cause the agent within the canister to be projected out. Water extinguishers are only usable with Class A fires because water is only going to make electrical, or oil related fires, grow in size. You have probably heard that you should never throw water on to a frying pan full of grease, and the same common sense applies here. Dry chemical extinguishers can be used on all fires in classes A, B and C. they are pressurized with nitrogen, sending out a power or foam, which can easily retired the fire. There are two types which include BC a nd ABC extinguishers, pertaining to the class of fire that you are trying to put out. A final type is called the carbon dioxide extinguisher, one that is only used for B and C Class fires, effectively removing the oxygen that is necessary to sustain or reignite the flames.

Fire Extinguishers And Safety

These devices should always be at businesses where fires have a possibility of appearing. For instance, you will see fire extinguishers at a school where there is a kitchen, in buildings on every floor, and of course in laboratories where experiments are being done. Each will be properly chosen for the type of fire that could breakout. Class A would be used where the fire would primarily be caused by wood or paper, and in a restaurant Class K extinguishers are used because oil and grease fires are most common. They should be easily accessible, usually obtained by either opening the container, or breaking the glass on the outside, and giving people access to this equipment. It’s not enough to simply have them on-site. They must be checked on a regular basis to make sure that they are fully functional and fully loaded. This must be documented at each facility, in compliance with local ordinances involved with maintaining safety equipment. If it does not get inspected by a certain date, this could lead to fines that the company would have to pay for not complying with safety standards.

Dangers Of Avoiding Safety Equipment

The primary danger of not having this type of safety equipment on site is that fires can and will happen. If it is not available for people to use, something that could have saved lives, this can lead to either severe injuries, death, and most certainly fines or jail time that would be administered by the officials in your County. Additional dangers involved the fires getting out of control, affecting other structures around you. Proper training should be administered to all employees that will be working with potentially flammable materials, instructing them on the different types of fire extinguishers, how they are operated, and what type of fire extinguishers should be used on the different types of fires that occur. This training needs to be provided on a regular basis, documented by those in charge, showing that they are in compliance with the laws of that state. Therefore, the danger is not only about personal safety, and the safety of others in close proximity, but a danger to your company in regard to its ability to operate once it has been found guilty of being negligent on not only safety checks but the availability of this type of equipment.

Regular Training Sessions

Finally, regular training should be provided by the owner of the company at the facility where the workers will be working. Without this training, it will not be possible for the people that will need to use this equipment to be able to protect themselves, or others in the building, once a fire has broken out. This can be set up at regular intervals, usually required every six months, and definitely mandatory for new employees that come on board. Once the training has concluded, they will be able to properly protect themselves, and the building, using the fire extinguishers and any of the other half for mentioned safety equipment that should be available.

Fire safety is a very important topic, one that includes having the equipment available and knowledge of how to use it properly. Without having access to fire extinguishers, a very small fire can lead to catastrophic damage, as well as severe injuries and the loss of life. If you are the owner of the company, and you have provided this equipment, make sure that you are doing documented and consistent training. This will ensure that you will be in compliance with all of the laws associated with using this equipment, and also protecting the lives of those that work for you.

Fires are something that almost nobody wants to deal with unless they are dealing with them in a controlled environment for a certain purpose that requires them. Outside of that, they are known and feared for being incredibly hot, unruly, and dangerous. What many people are unaware of is that there are things that a fire requires to thrive. These things can be illustrated in a fire triangle. Read on to learn more about them.

Many people have never heard of fire triangles, so they don’t understand their importance. However, for people like firefighters and those that practice fire safety in nature, they are well-versed in how vital they are to fire prevention. They can also be considered for how to put them out.

Definition

So, what exactly is a fire triangle? It is simply a type of model. It is also known as a combustible triangle. This model is so important because it shows what a fire requires for ignition. While every model may appear differently, they all usually contain the same three “points”, which are an oxidizing agent, fuel, and heat.

These three points, when combined in the right percentages in the right circumstances, are what cause fires to spark. Their importance comes from the fact that when you know the three items that can cause fires that you can make sure the environment is free of them. You can ensure that any of them are removed should a fire occur.

It should be noted that fire is not a single item, but a whole process caused by a chemical reaction. All three things have to react with one another before a flame can start. When the triangle is missing any one of the points, it cannot start, or it will go out.

Once the triangle has been initiated, some other things have to occur so that the flame can keep going and expanding. The majority of this is kept up by the three points of the triangle. However, while these three points cause the fire, it is another chemical reaction that occurs because of the completed triangle. This causes the fires to last and is known as combustion. These three points combined with combustion creates what is known as a fire tetrahedron.

Oxidizing Agent

The oxidizing agent is the point that accepts electrons. It does this through its own chemical reaction known as redox. It takes the electrons and the result is oxidation. This has lead to it also being called an electron acceptor. Due to the name of this point, the most common redox agent is oxygen itself.

In terms of fires, the most common source for an oxidizing agent is the air. The more air that a fire gets, the larger the flames can get and the farther it can spread. That is why many fires can be smothered and put out using wet blankets or dirt; it is because it no longer has access to an extensive air supply.

Gases are another common agent. The most common are fluorine gas and perchlorate salts. These cause some of the most difficult fires, so they must be put out by professionals since smothering them will often not put the fire out.

Heat

Heat is transferred energy. Under the right circumstances, it can occur as transfer from matter that is hot to one that is cold. It can either be a quick or a slow transfer. In terms of fire, the heat sources may ignite slowly allowing time to put it out before hitting the other two points of the triangle, or it may happen quickly leaving little to no time to keep it from doing so.

It is when heat mixes with fuel that the fire takes a physical form. Once it takes in the oxidizing agent, the whole thing becomes a fire. It is the mixture of what comprises these three points that contributes to the size, disbursement, and length of time that a fire burns.

Fuel

Fuel does not only refer to the liquid most transportation runs on. It refers to anything that stores potential energy that can be released when it is used around heat energy. It could also be any material that is considered combustible. While this can be used to describe nuclear energy, it is mainly referred in the context of chemical reactions in combustion.

Fuel and combustible items can be all kinds of things. They can be solid, liquid, and gases, too. Fires are often caused by solid fuel in the form of dry grass, wood chips, grains, coal, and more. Liquid fuel like gasoline, kerosene, butane, propane, and the like can also cause fires. Gases like hydrocarbons and mixtures containing them with carbon monoxide and hydrogen can cause fires as well.

Generally speaking, the moisture, size, and disbursement of the fuel can determine how well or how long something can stay on fire. The fuel in the triangle can be used to put out the fire if it is removed from the triangle, dispersed, or if its temperature is lowered more than the point of ignition.

Now you know more about what a fire triangle is. Knowing the basics of what causes fires can not only help you prevent fires before they actually start, but it may give you a clue on how to put them out quickly and safely. make sure to call the fire department for all fires but especially ones that you cannot control.