Fire Safety

Jeff Mlekush, Coordinator Safety Operations 

Prevention is key, but preparedness for a fire event is just as important. Become familiar with your building’s emergency plan and your role in it. Learn how to operate a fire extinguisher. Familiarize yourself with your building’s fire and life safety systems, such as smoke detectors, fire alarm pull station locations, exit doors and stairwells, fire doors, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and the fire alarm monitoring service. 

9 things you can do to help make your building fire safe: 

  1. Keep your workplace clean and free from clutter. Excess clutter provides fuel for fire and may block access to emergency exits, fire sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and other fire safety equipment. 
  1. Have the Electrical Shop check for safe loads on outlets before utilizing a new electrical item. Contact the Work Order Desk at x2247 to schedule. 
  1. Report overloaded outlets, faulty wiring, and permanent use of extension cords to Environmental Health & Safety at x2216 or the UCO Fire Marshal at x3338.  
  1. Ensure appliances such as coffee pots and space heaters are turned off when you leave the office. 
  1. Store chemicals and flammable liquids properly. This is imperative if handling and storing these items are part of your job. Contact Environmental Health & Safety for safe storage and disposal practices. Check containers regularly for leaks and damage. 
  1. Ensure that the electrical control panels in your building are accessible, in case the power needs to be turned off in an emergency. 
  1. Post emergency contact information and your building’s address near the phones for easy reference in an emergency. 
  1. Report fire and life safety hazards, such as missing or broken safety equipment, burned out exit lights, or faulty fire doors to the Fire Marshal (x3338).  
  1. Do not use mechanical, boiler, electrical or furnace rooms to store combustible materials, such as garbage and paper files. 

Take control of what you can to prevent fires. Your employer and your coworkers are counting on you to be fire safe. 

If a fire event occurs, remember the acronym RACER: 

  • R - Rescue people from the immediate area of fire or smoke; tell visitors and employees that the alarm is real and they need to exit the building. 
  • A - Activate the nearest fire alarm. 
  • C - Contain the fire on your way out of the building by closing doors behind you. 
  • E - Extinguish the fire if it is small enough. Keep your escape route in view in case the fire increases in size and you need to escape. 
  • R - Relocate to a predesignated outside assembly area. Supervisors must take attendance to ensure all employees have exited the building. 

If you must use a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS: 

  • P – Pull the pin. 
  • A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. 
  • S – Squeeze the nozzle slowly and evenly. 
  • S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side.