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Fire safety is the set of practices intended to reduce the destruction caused by fire. Fire safety measures include those that are intended to prevent ignition of an uncontrolled fire, and those that are used to limit the development and effects of a fire after it starts.
Fire safety measures include those that are planned during the construction of a building or implemented in structures that are already standing, and those that are taught to occupants of the building.
Threats to fire safety are commonly referred to as fire hazards. A fire hazard may include a situation that increases the likelihood of a fire or may impede escape in the event a fire occurs.
Fire safety is often a component of building safety. Those who inspect buildings for violations of the Fire Code and go into schools to educate children on Fire Safety topics are fire department members known as Fire Prevention Officers. The Chief Fire Prevention Officer or Chief of Fire Prevention will normally train newcomers to the Fire Prevention Division and may also conduct inspections or make presentations.
Examples of these include:
Some common fire hazards are:
In the United States, the fire code (also fire prevention code or fire safety code) is a model code adopted by the state or local jurisdiction and enforced by fire prevention officers within municipal fire departments. It is a set of rules prescribing minimum requirements to prevent fire and explosion hazards arising from storage, handling, or use of dangerous materials, or from other specific hazardous conditions. It complements the building code. The fire code is aimed primarily at preventing fires, ensuring that necessary training and equipment will be on hand, and that the original design basis of the building, including the basic plan set out by the architect, is not compromised. The fire code also addresses inspection and maintenance requirements of various fire protection equipment in order to maintain optimal active fire protection and passive fire protection measures.
- Building a facility in accordance with the version of the local building code
- Maintaining a facility and conducting oneself in accordance with the provisions of the fire code. This is based on the occupants and operators of the building being aware of the applicable regulations and advice.
- Not exceeding the maximum occupancy within any part of the building.
- Maintaining proper fire exits and proper exit signage (e.g., exit signs pointing to them that can function in a power failure)
- Compliance with electrical codes to prevent overheating and ignition from electrical faults or problems such as poor wire insulation or overloading wiring, conductors, or other fixtures with more electric current than they are rated for.
- Placing and maintaining the correct type of fire extinguishers in easily accessible places.
- Properly storing and using, hazardous materials that may be needed inside the building for storage or operational requirements (such as solvents in spray booths).
- Prohibiting flammable materials in certain areas of the facility.
- Periodically inspecting buildings for violations, issuing Orders To Comply and, potentially, prosecuting or closing buildings that are not in compliance, until the deficiencies are corrected or condemning it in extreme cases.
- Maintaining fire alarm systems for detection and warning of fire.
- Obtaining and maintaining a complete inventory of firestops.
- Ensuring that spray fireproofing remains undamaged.
- Maintaining a high level of training and awareness of occupants and users of the building to avoid obvious mistakes, such as the propping open of fire doors.
- Conducting fire drills at regular intervals throughout the year.
- Kitchen fires from unattended cooking, such as frying, broiling, and simmering
Electrical systems that are overloaded, resulting in hot wiring or connections, or failed components
Combustible storage areas with insufficient protection
- Combustibles near equipment that generates heat, flame, or sparks
Candles and other open flames
- Smoking (Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, lighters, etc.)
- Equipment that generates heat and utilizes combustible materials
- Flammable liquids and aerosols
- Flammable solvents (and rags soaked with solvent) placed in enclosed trash cans
- Fireplace chimneys not properly or regularly cleaned
- Cooking appliances - stoves, ovens
- Heating appliances - fireplaces, wood burning stoves, furnaces, boilers, portable heaters
- Household appliances - clothes dryers, curling irons, hair dryers, refrigerators, freezers
- Chimneys that concentrate creosote
- Electrical wiring in poor condition
- Leaking Batteries
- Personal ignition sources - matches, lighters
- Electronic and electrical equipment
- Exterior cooking equipment - barbecue
Fireworks, explosives, mortars and cannons, model rockets (licenses for manufacture, storage, transportation, sale, use)
- Certification for servicing, placement, and inspecting fire extinguishing equipment
- General storage and handling of flammable liquids, solids, gases (tanks, personnel training, markings, equipment)
- Limitations on locations and quantities of flammables (e.g., 10 liters of gasoline inside a residential dwelling)
- Specific uses and specific flammables (e.g., dry cleaning, gasoline distribution, explosive dusts, pesticides, space heaters, plastics manufacturing)
- Permits and limitations in various building occupancies (assembly hall, hospital, school, theater, elderly care, child care, prs that require a smoke detector, sprinkler system, fire extinguisher, or other specific equipment or procedures
- Removal of interior and exterior obstructions to emergency exits or firefighters and removal of hazardous materials
- Permits and limitations in special outdoor applications (tents, asphalt kettles, bonfires, etc.)
- Other hazards (flammable decorations, welding, smoking, bulk matches, tire yards)
Electrical safety codes such as the National Electrical Code (by the National Fire Protection Association) for the U.S. and some other places in the Americas
- Fuel gas code
- Key contact information
- Utility services (Including shut-off valves for water, gas and electric)
- Access issues
- Dangerous stored materials
- Location of people with special needs
- Connections to sprinkler system
- Layout, drawing, and site plan of building
- Maintenance schedules for life safety systems
- Personnel training and fire drill procedure
- Create safe haven (zone)
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