Document Type: Regulation
Legal References: I.G.S.H.S. 061
The purpose of this regulation is to identify and establish procedures for employees to follow to ensure the safe storage of combustible materials, prevention of fires, storage of flammable liquids, and general housekeeping.
III. PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Employees shall not place items in front of fire extinguishers or fire alarm pull stations preventing easy and immediate access to them.
In order to avoid unnecessary risk to employees, only employees that have been trained in the use of fire extinguishers should be permitted to use them. For training options please contact Risk and Safety Services.
In the event of a fire employees shall pull the nearest fire alarm and immediately evacuate the facility. Portable fire extinguishers are intended for beginning-stage fires. Trained employees who attempt to extinguish a fire that has grown beyond the size of a small waste basket shall stop, pull the nearest fire alarm, and immediately exit the facility.
IV. GENERAL FIRE PREVENTION REQUIREMENTS
A. For all employees
All employees shall be responsible for maintaining good housekeeping and minimizing accumulations of combustible materials in their work areas. All employees shall take the following precautions:
1. Never block or reduce egress to emergency exit routes by using the route for storage space;
2. Never block the free flow of water from sprinkler heads by placing storage materials directly under sprinklers. In buildings that are not sprinkler-protected, do not stack storage from floor to ceiling (keep storage material below 2 feet of the ceiling);
3. Keep fire doors shut and never prop them open. Fire doors are marked on the hinge side of the door jamb;
4. Do not store combustible material in boiler rooms, mechanical rooms or electrical rooms; and
5. Electrical Safety
a. Inspect electrical equipment (power strips, extension cords, etc.) prior to use and discontinue use when damage is found until repaired or replaced;
b. Never place items in front or on top of hard wired electrical equipment (such as circuit breaker panels or transformers);
c. Never connect multiple power strips or extension cords together,
i.e. daisy chain fashion; these devices must be plugged directly into an outlet;
d. Not run power strips or extension cords through doorways, walls, or through ceilings; and
e. Use extension cords on a temporary basis only.
f. Prior to using space heaters, employees shall first attempt adjusting the thermostat to control the temperature/climate. However, when space heaters are necessary, employees shall plug the heater directly into an outlet and not place it near (within 3 feet of) waste baskets or other combustible material. All space heaters must have an auto shut-off feature.
B. Additional Safety Requirements
Some employees may need to take additional measures to prevent workplace fires. Where applicable the following precautions shall be taken:
1. Flammable and Combustible Liquids Handling and Storage:
a. When large quantities of flammable liquids are used or need to be stored, they should be stored in flammable storage cabinets;
b. Use grounding and bonding when transferring flammable liquids to new containers;
c. Fuel cans shall always be placed on the ground when filling. Never fill them in the bed of a vehicle;
c. Safety cans shall be used to transport and store fuel. Damaged safety cans shall not be used;
d. Weeds and rubbish shall not be permitted to accumulate around fuel dispensing tanks;
e. Containers of flammable or combustible liquids and compressed gasses shall not be stored in such locations or in a manner that could result in damage to the container. Containers shall not be stored where they are exposed to heat or direct sunlight or in egress routes or near exit ways;
f. Materials that will react with water shall not be stored in the same room with flammable or combustible liquids;
g. “No Smoking or Open Flames” signs shall be posted in areas or places where fire or explosion hazards exist; and
h. Battery-charging stations where hydrogen gas may be released shall be located in well-ventilated areas.
V. PERFORMING HOT WORK OUTSIDE OF DESIGNATED AREAS
A Hot Work Permit (Exhibit 6.01ii) is required for any temporary operation (including work performed by employees, contractors, or subcontractors in City owned and operated facilities) involving open flames or producing heat and/or sparks outside of a designated area (such as a welding shop). Instructions on completion of hot work permits can be found in Exhibit 6.01ii. Employees shall request additional Hot Work Permit forms from Risk and Safety Services, or use an equivalent form approved by a
department manager and Risk and Safety Services. Hot work is not permitted to be performed while any part of a sprinkler system is impaired or not operational.
If possible, the hot work shall be relocated to an area that has been identified as safe for hot work. Before initiating hot work outside of an area that is identified as safe, the precautions identified on the Hot Work Permit form shall be implemented.
VI. FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
A. Planned or Unplanned Impairments to Fire Protection Systems
A Red Tag Permit (Exhibit 6.01iii), or an equivalent permit approved by Risk and Safety Services, is required at any City owned and operated facility to manage all impairments caused by employees, contractors or their subcontractors. An impairment is anything that results in the planned or unplanned shutdown of a fire protection system. This includes but is not limited to the shutdown of the fire protection water supplies, sprinklers, fire pumps, special protection systems and fire alarm systems. For emergency or unplanned impairments (i.e. a sprinkler head is accidentally contacted and broken), after the situation has stabilized the employee facilitating the corrections shall perform the procedures for a Red Tag Permit.
The employee overseeing the impairment should ensure that the City’s property insurance provider is notified prior to start of the impairment. See Exhibit 6.01iii for instructions on how to complete a Red Tag Permit.
During impairment the following precautions shall be taken:
1. Shut down hazardous processes;
2. Prohibit hot work and smoking;
3. Implement a continuous fire watch; and
4. Continue the work until the protection is restored.
Risk and Safety Services is available to assist departments with questions regarding hot work and fire protection system impairments.