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Fire Protection Systems

Fire Protection SystemsOSHA 1926.150 addresses fire protection, mostly from the viewpoint of company policies and responsibilities. Many of the responsibilities are one-time obligations. For example, once a building has a sprinkler system, this satisfies the sprinkler system installation requirement.

But simply checking off the box that a sprinkler system is installed isn’t the same as providing sprinkler system protection. For that, you need periodic inspections and maintenance. If the fire pump won’t start or a firewater pipe maintenance valve is closed, the sprinkler system isn’t protecting against fire.

Without a rigorous program of training, manual fire extinguishers can be worse than nothing. An untrained person might spread a fire, rather than extinguish it. That’s because the natural reaction is to attack the flames rather than the base of the fire. With a typical pressurized CO2 extinguisher, aiming at the flames pushes the flames deeper into the area and can entrain fire-feeding oxygen behind the CO2 stream.

People also must know when to evacuate rather than fight with a small extinguisher; the wrong decision is deadly.

Extinguisher training is defeated if, for example, the extinguisher is empty. So, like sprinkler systems, manual extinguishers require periodic inspections. Ensure your program follows the relevant scheduling guidelines (contact your insurer) and (at minimum), includes these requirements:

  • Extinguishers are readily accessible and their locations are clearly marked.
  • Each extinguisher is inspected to ensure it’s the right type for the area it’s in; if not, remove it and replace with one that is.
  • Inspections are documented.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection