Primary Fire Awareness Information
Please read the following training material carefully. Once you have completed reading there is a link to a self assessment test for you to complete.
Fire kills. Burrows Motor Company is committed to ensuring all team members are trained in primary fire safety awareness. This training module provides you with the primary awareness needed to minimise the risk of fire in our centres. Please ensure you read the sections below carefully. Details on fire evacuation points, fire marshals, and the centre safety officer may be found on your centre’s blue health and safety notice board.
What Does It Take To Start A Fire?
This simple fire triangle shows the three elements that are required to start a fire:
Fuel – Which may be in the form of solid, liquid or gas.
Oxygen – Which exists in the air we breath ( approximately 21% )
Heat – A minimum temperature known, as ignition temperature is required which
Remove any of these three elements from the triangle and fire cannot start or be maintained:
- Remove the fuel – i.e. in the case of gas, turn off the gas and the fire goes out.
- Remove the oxygen – i.e. starve the fire of oxygen and the flames subside.
- Cool the heat – i.e. drench burning paper with water and the fire is put out.
Some Common Fire Hazards
Fires love rubbish – Arson is still one of the most common causes of fire in the UK. Fire finds ideal breeding grounds in accumulations of paper, cardboard, paint waste/solvents, petrol, oil, solvent/petrol/oil soaked rags and a number of other combustible materials found in the garage. As stated above many buildings are destroyed by intruders igniting rubbish which has been left unsecured and easily accessible. Get rubbish out of the premises & into covered bins/skips as quickly and as often as possible.
The discarded cigarette-end is also one of the most common causes of fires. Getting rid of rubbish will help reduce fires from this cause – but even so, wherever cigarettes and matches are used, there is a chance of a fire starting. Do not smoke in rooms where goods are stored or anywhere near flammable liquids. If there is a designated smoking area – USE IT!
Portable heaters – electric, oil or gas etc. – can start fires if combustible materials come into close contact with them, or if they are knocked over. All heaters should be positioned well away from likely sources of ignition. Secure heaters so that they cannot be easily knocked over. Gas and oil heaters should be kept away from draughts. Items of clothing should not be placed on heaters to dry – they may be forgotten and cause a fire. Heater vents should be kept clear and clean to ensure good ventilation.
Working on Fuel Systems
Every year people are killed when working with petrol. Because petroleum spirit is so highly flammable, always drain fuel into a compliant fuel drainer which is fitted with an earth lead in order to reduce static. Never pour or store fuel in open containers. Working on fuel systems must always be carried out in a well ventilated area away from likely sources of ignition. When working on fuel systems even if it is only replacing a fuel filter always follow your company’s ‘Safe Systems of Work, these must always be adhered to. Never attempt to drain fuel over a drain or pit as petrol vapours are heavier than air and this could cause an explosion. Always store fuel in both a safe and secure location ideally outside of the building.
Welding/heating processes using gas & other types of welding equipment is another major cause of fire in the automotive industry. Always have fire-fighting equipment close at hand. If welding under a vehicle have a colleague watch the inside of the vehicle for fires starting. When carrying out welding or heating processes, your company’s Safe System of Work must always be adhered to. Never use this equipment near potential sources of ignition i.e. petrol/gas/solvent vapours (petrol & gas) tanks should be first drained and removed. Always store gas cylinders upright, ensure they remain secure and unable to be knocked over – the storage location should ideally be outside of the building.
Good housekeeping is an essential part of good management practice; it benefits efficiency, aids production and is also a good fire precaution. Well-organised and carefully maintained premises are much safer from fire. The likelihood of fire breaking out is reduced and should fire occur it will be easier to control and extinguish.
Always ensure cable extensions are fully unwound before use, this will reduce the risk of overloading. Avoid using multi socket adaptors again as these can cause overload, be ill fitting in wall sockets and can cause fires. Check equipment before use and report any defects. Never connect a multi-socket adaptor into another multi-socket adaptor.
Most Fires Start from Carelessness
A small mistake or even a moment’s lapse of attention could result in a major fire, an injury, total destruction of the business or even death. Avoid short cuts; do not be tempted to use inappropriate/defective materials or equipment to save time or money as this may increase the risk of something going seriously wrong.
What should you check during each working day?
- Check your work area at the end of each shift.
- Check electrical appliances are switched off and unplugged where practicable (ensure you check first before turning off computers).
- Lock off gas cylinders.
- Clear up rubbish daily.
- Close doors & windows, so that if in spite of all your precautions a fire does break out, it will be confined to a small area.
- Lock up securely.
What to do in the event of a fire?
We have clear principles for all team members to adhere to in the event of a fire alarm sounding or discovering a fire. Please study the following procedures carefully. In all circumstances, these basic principles must be followed.
If the fire alarm is activated YOU MUST:
- Calmly make a fast and safe evacuation.
- If you’re with a visitor, ask them to follow you.
- Go immediately to your assembly point and report to your Fire Marshal.
If the fire alarm is activated YOU MUST NOT:
- Stop to collect your personal belongings.
- Attempt to return to your own workstation or try to finish the work you are doing.
- Use lifts or escalators (unless they have been specifically designed to allow for fire evacuation) as the power may be switched off and you may become trapped or have an accident.
If you discover a fire YOU MUST:
- Raise the alarm. Shout to notify anyone in the vicinity.
- Activate the fire alarm immediately.
- Evacuate from the building by the safest route.
- Close doors behind you as you go (if you are the last one out), to stop the fire spreading.
- Ensure the Fire Brigade is immediately notified, once you are in a safe location.
- Go to your assembly point and report to your Fire Marshal.
If you feel confident that you can quickly and safely contain the fire, you could:
- Move flammable material to stop the fire spreading.
- Use a fire extinguisher to control the fire. (fire extinguishers are explained further on in this workbook).
But… When in doubt, GET OUT! Leave it to the Fire Brigade.
Dealing with Smoke
Smoke is as dangerous as fire. Smoke rises. So, if you are evacuating from a smoke filled area, the safest breathing area is likely to be nearest to the floor. If possible, crawl to the nearest exit while taking care to avoid impeding or colliding with anyone else.
Fire Action Notices like the one shown below should guide you on what action to take in the event of an emergency. If you are unsure ask your manager or supervisor to explain the company’s emergency procedures straight away (details can also be found on your centre’s blue health and safety notice board)
Fire Action Notices:
The safe way out
The notices with arrows will guide you in the safe direction (follow the arrows) to your designated assembly point.
It is important all team members are prepared by understanding what they must be aware of within their own workplace and / or when travelling or visiting other locations. They also need to know what to expect if they are ever in the position of having to report a fire.
Reporting a Fire
To report a fire, dial the emergency services telephone number. The emergency operator handles calls to all the emergency services so you will have to ask them for the Fire Brigade. Once you are through to the Fire Brigade’s emergency call centre, you should be ready to explain as clearly and calmly as possible:
- The address of the premises
- Whether anyone is trapped or injured
- Where the fire is in the building
- The nature of the problem
The Fire Brigade will automatically contact the Ambulance Service and Police if necessary.
Fire Safety in your Workplace
Prepare yourself by making sure you know the Fire Safety provisions in your workplace. Ask yourself:
- Where’s the nearest Fire Alarm?
- Where’s the nearest Fire Exit and where does it lead?
- Where’s the nearest Fire Extinguisher and do I know how to use it?
- Do I know the evacuation procedures including those for people with disabilities?
- Where’s my Assembly Area?
- Who is my Fire Marshal?
If you don’t know the answer to any of those questions, consult your health and safety notice board or ask your line manager!
Fire Safety in Other Locations
When visiting other locations or travelling, always ensure you know the fire safety procedures and fire exits. If there is a fire, the route you exit by is important. Think of the most direct route to exit. Don’t limit yourself to the route you entered the building by.
Summary – Workplace Awareness
- With any incident involving fire, the Fire Brigade must be notified as soon as possible.
- Phone 999 to contact the Fire Brigade and be prepared to give the name of the premises, the location of the fire and whether anyone is trapped or injured.
- Protect yourself by being prepared for the possibility of a fire. Ensure that you know where fire alarms, fire exits and extinguishers are located.
- Know who your Fire Marshal is, where your assembly point is and, if you or somebody you work with is disabled, the procedures for assisting evacuation.
Identifying the fire type and using the most effective method of how to extinguish a particular class of fire
Best Used for – Class(A) fires involving solids & Class(B) fires involving liquids. Good for small fires in clothing and chip pan fires, providing the blanket covers all the fire.
How to use – Place carefully over the fire. Keep your hands shielded. Do not waft the fire towards you.
Fire Extinguisher Coding
Class A Fires
Freely burning fuelled by ordinary combustible materials such as cloth, wood, paper and fabric. Cooling by water or water with additive ( hydrospray ) are the most effective ways of extinguishing this type of fire.
Class B Fires
Fires fuelled by liquids such as oils, petrol, greases and fats. Tackling with a foam, spray foam or dry powder are the most effective ways of extinguishing this type of fire. CO2 may also be used.
Do not use on live electrical equipment.
Class C Fires
Fire fuelled by flammable gasses, such as Propane. Butane and North Sea Gas. Tackling with powder is the most effective way of extinguishing this type of fire.
It is essential that all gas supplies are turned off
Fire Involving Electric Risks
It is imperative that the power supply is disconnected. The fire can then be dealt with according to the classification it falls into.
When the power supply CANNOT be isolated and there is risk of electrical shock. Non conductive extinguishing agents, such as dry powder or CO2 can be used.
- When the fire alarm is activated, evacuate quickly and safely by the most direct route.
- If you discover a fire, shout to notify those in the immediate danger area and activate the fire alarm. Evacuate from the building and ensure the Fire Brigade has been contacted.
- When evacuating from a smoke filled room, the safest breathing area is nearest the floor.
- Never place yourself in further danger. Only tackle a fire if you are certain that you can do so safely.
- Once you have evacuated from the building, go immediately to your assembly point.
Now please complete this short self-assessment. HERE
Please ensure you sign the fire log training record to confirm your understanding of these important details.