Ready for Work

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Coming into work healthy and in the right mindset every day is just as important as being properly trained or having the right tool for the job. Many factors, both on and off the job, affect how well or poorly we do our jobs on any given day. Some of the factors we will cover are sickness, fatigue, medication, and stress.

Sickness– We all get sick from time to time. Some illnesses are minor and work can continue, but others we need to stay home to get better before coming to work. When you are sick you may not be able perform your duties as needed and this can put yourself or others at risk for an injury. Know when it is time to stay home due to an illness. During flu season especially, it is important that you do not come to work and infect others. Not only are you not able to work to your fullest ability you also affect others being able to work due to being infected with your illness.

Fatigue– Fatigue is a killer on jobsites all across the country. Many employees work over the normal 40 hours a week. Add on the demands of home life and there are many people who are probably too tired to safely perform their functions. Get at least six hours of sleep a night and eat a balanced diet to help combat the demands of a busy life. Drink caffeinated drinks or take a break and stretch when feeling tired on the job.

Medication– Many medications affect how we feel. When starting a new medication it is important to try it off the job to see how it affects you. Ask your doctor about all of the side effects. Make sure he or she understands the work you do as well as any other medications you take. Let a supervisor know if you are not feeling well due to a medication. If you feel comfortable telling a coworker about what medication you are taking, let him or her know so they can keep an eye on you.

Stress– There is good stress as well as bad stress. We are more familiar with the bad stress. Stress from work demands, home demands, family problems, health problems, etc. affect us every day. A combination of high expectations for productivity and limited resources to complete work often leads to high stress levels on the job. It is important to be able to handle stress in a constructive way. Exercising or taking time to enjoy hobbies is a good way to relieve stress. Recognize when you are stressed and step away from the situation to take time to relax.

Summary
Whether it is sickness, fatigue, medication, or stress affecting you in a negative manner at work it is important to speak up and address the problem. When “simple fixes” are not enough to correct a health related issue it is important to let a supervisor know and cease the work task. Address the problem at its source to ensure you can continue to work productively and safely.

Increased Focus on Safety Research

WHY EMPLOYERS SHOULD UTILIZE OSHA SEARCH TRENDS FROM GOOGLE TRENDS

The keyword “OSHA” peaks in January and February, and it’s easy to see why. After all, employers have New Year’s Resolutions of their own that place quite the emphasis on workplace safety!

What is the purpose of this trend discussion? One of the main elements of OSHA’s safety measures is to maintain a strict focus on safety…year round. It’s easy to see why searches tail off into the dog days of summer, as the “New Year, fresh start” mantra has worn off. But at the very least, it may not be tailing off quite as much with each passing year.

We can also assume that the searches incorporate a combination of curious employers and employees eager to read up on standards. Oh and, a few individuals looking to catch up on the news – OSHA citations are still common unfortunately!

HOW ARE THE SAFETY TREND LINES DISPLAYED?

The numbers on the left of the graph, from 0-100, show the term’s popularity. “100” is the peak popularity of the term throughout the year. “50” means that, at the given point, the term was HALF as popular as it was at its peak. With that in mind, let’s see the year-by-year comparison from New Year’s Day 2014 through February 11, 2018:

(Google Trends)
(Google Trends)

The date may be a little clustered, but the trends appear largely steady for each given month. The absolute peak came from January 29 – February 4, 2017. The next closest mark? A 99 very recently: January 28 – February 3, 2018.

How will the trend line look in 2018? With the new OSHA general industry and maritime rule enforcement for respirable crystalline silica coming on June 23, it sure feels like this summer will have a bigger focus on OSHA!

Five Reasons to Work Safe Today

take safety homeFive Reasons to Work Safe Today (Safety Talk)

We all have different reasons for why we choose to do certain things and why we may not choose to do others. When it comes to working safely we should all want to choose to make the right decision. We all are different in the way we think, but there are many common reasons why we should choose to work safe. No matter what your motivator may be keep these five reasons in mind as to why we should all strive to should work safe.

Five Reasons to Work Safe

  1. Your health. Obviously your health and well-being should be the biggest motivator as to why you should choose to work safe. Once we lose our health or impact it severely, it may never be the same. It is important to really think about how a severe injury would change the rest of your life.
  2. Providing for your family. Your family depends on your ability to earn an income. When you are injured or ill you can lose that ability very quickly. Even if it is only for a short time the financial and emotional effects on your family can be drastic.
  3. Your reputation. While productive employees are still very much rewarded at many companies, working safely is often recognized right along with production. Your reputation at work not only affects you in your current position, but it also can affect getting a future promotion at your company or opportunities at other companies. No one wants to reward a risk taker or put them in a position of power. If it is known that you are a worker that cuts corners or does not work safely it could make all the difference in whether or not you get the chance at a better opportunity.
  4. Your coworkers. Making the choice to take a shortcutcan not only harm yourself, but you can also harm a fellow coworker. Everyone’s safety on the job depends on not only on their own choices but the choices of all the workers there.
  5. Your company. Whether you love the company you work for or not, the job they provide you with pays your bills. Working safely allows business to continue thus providing the opportunity for you to continue to pay your bills as well as your fellow coworkers to do the same.

Achieving Safety Goals

Achieving Safety Goals Safety Talk

Any company that focuses on improving workplace safety aims to get their employees home in the same health they came into work or better every single day. For many companies there is often a larger expressed goal attached to this effort. Often the goal for many worksites or companies as a whole is to make it an entire year without any injuries. For other companies it may just be no lost time injuries in a year. Despite what the goal is or the duration set, one thing is for certain- it takes focused effort every single day to achieve it.

Safety Goals Set by Companies

Safety records are tracked, days since last injury counters loom over employees’ heads, and safety lunches are held quarterly to celebrate employee efforts in working safely. While these tools may be good reminders for a workforce that there is a goal set and there is progress being made, the honest truth is that it takes dedication by every single person on that team over a long period of time to achieve the larger goal. The enormity of these safety related goals can overwhelm even the most optimistic employee.

achieving safety goals toolbox talkThe Only Way to Achieve a Big Safety Goal is One Task at a Time

After huge goals are set by companies regarding workplace safety, it is up everyone’s willingness to embrace that it is possible and take action towards meeting the goal. The thought alone of making it a whole year without injury automatically shuts down many individuals from even wanting to put a care towards attempting to achieve it. To reduce the enormity of the goal, concrete actions need to be lined out every day to focus on preventing injuries one task at a time.

The best way to achieve a huge goal is to take small steps towards it every single day. For safety goals it means doing one step, one work task, one safeguard, the right way each time it needs completed. Effort cannot be applied directly to the overall abstract goal that may be a year or two away. Effort can be applied by each individual to take action in the task they are doing that minute to complete it in the safe and correct manner.

Changes in Eye Safety in 2018

When we take a holistic view of eye safety by considering the manufacturer, the products and the individual workers who rely on them, we can make great strides toward reducing occupational eye injuries.

When you think of eye safety, you might immediately think of protective eyewear, OSHA requirements for using such eyewear, or the various eye hazards in your workplace. What you might not consider is the intense pain and unmeasurable cost to an individual who experiences an eye injury—and the lasting effect on his or her overall quality of life.

Choosing a safety eyewear manufacturer can feel like a leap of faith. But when you look closely, key attributes will help you identify the reliable, safety- and quality-focused manufacturers that stand out from the crowd. Look beyond manufacturers who treat safety eyewear like a commodity. Instead, look for those that show a proven commitment to eye protection from every angle, including those that sponsor advocacy programs for industrial safety.

Here is a list of attributes to seek in a manufacturer that will deliver what you and your workforce really need:

  • Proven history of product integrity and dedicated customer support
  • New product development processes in which listening to customers is key
  • Commitment to research and development of innovative new frame materials, lens tints, lens coatings, style, and fit and comfort features
  • Customized sample programs that allow end users to try application-specific eyewear before they buy
  • State-of-the-art processes that ensure order fulfillment, rapid response, and uninterrupted supply
  • Involvement in national standards committees to further the protection of workers
  • Manufacture in the USA and dedicated on-site engineers who ensure all products meet or exceed quality standards, regardless of where they are manufactured

Focus on the Products
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Once you’ve identified a shortlist of reliable manufacturers, shift your focus toward their product offerings. Safety eyewear comes in a multitude of sizes, shapes, and styles—sometimes with even more options in lens tints, lens coatings, and more.

Remember, despite how good they look, safety spectacles, goggles, and sealed eyewear alike must fit properly in order to protect. Not only is ill-fitting eyewear uncomfortable and distracting, it also can fall out of place upon impact, allowing objects to reach the eyes. To ensure a safe and proper fit, look for styles that either come in small, medium, and large sizes; have flexible wraparound coverage; or feature innovative adjustability options that enable a high level of customization for a personal fit.

And, fogging lenses pose a major problem for nearly everyone wearing safety eyewear. Fog obscures an individual’s view of the task at hand and of nearby hazards. Furthermore, fog is nearly impossible to avoid: It is caused both by environmental factors and by the heat naturally generated by worker exertion. Selecting a proven, long-lasting anti-fog lens coating is vital. Look for coatings that are permanently bonded to the lens, last more than 30 washes, employ dual-action hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties, and undergo rigorous batch testing at the point of manufacture to ensure evenly distributed application and to maintain excellent optical clarity.

Focus on the People You Protect

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You’ve identified a trustworthy manufacturer and selected eye protection that meets the needs of each individual worker and the hazards they face. Now, it’s time to focus on the individuals—the fathers, mothers, loved ones, and friends—whom you are committed to protecting.

  • Educate workers on the specific hazards present, how those hazards can impact the eyes, and the importance of always wearing safety eyewear among those hazards.
  • Conduct fit tests to ensure eyewear fits each individual properly (snug and gap-free).
  • Ensure the best anti-fog performance possible to maintain a clear view of tasks and hazards.
  • Provide the appropriate lens tint for the lighting in each environment and explain the long-term benefits of their use.
  • Teach workers how to recognize an eye injury and what to do in the event of such an injury.
  • Foster a culture of safety in which workers encourage each other to wear their eye protection.

Eye safety matters. In fact, most people value the sense of sight above all others.When we take a holistic view of eye safety by considering the manufacturer, the products, and the individual workers who rely on them, we can make great strides toward reducing occupational eye injuries. Doing so also helps us meet our overarching goal to send every worker home without injury every day so they can enjoy life, uninterrupted.

First Day Back to Work

There are a multitude of different risk factors for workplace injuries. One risk factor for an increased likelihood of injury is working after an extended break such as coming into work on a Monday after a few days off. It has been statistically shown that a worker is more likely to be injured on a Monday. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that since 2007, Mondays have had the highest number of workplace injuries out of all the days of the week every single year with the exception of two years.

Why is the First Day of Work Back More Dangerous?

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides injury data where we can see that more injuries occur on Mondays than any other day of the week, they do not give an explanation why. There can be a multitude of possibilities to why more injuries occur on the first day back to work. Lack of focus or attention could be one reason why someone is more likely to fall victim to an injury on their first day back to work. Some other possibilities to consider:

  • Mondays are known for individuals having lower energy levels and sometimes lower morale. We have all heard someone jokingly say they have “a case of the Mondays”. This can lead to caring less about the task at hand or not taking the time to take the extra steps to work safely.
  • Personal issues at home creating stress or serving as a distraction. Issues that occurred over the weekend can possibly take the mind of a worker off of their work during the start of their week.
  • Mondays, especially in the first few hours of the shift, can be hectic or busier than other times of the week.

Quick Steps to Prevent Injury on First Day Back

  • Do a self-check to see whether you are fit for work or not before you start your shift. Ensure your head is in the game and you are able to focus on your work.
  • Complete inspections of your work area as well as any tools or equipment used.
  • Take the time and energy to ensure all the necessary safeguards are in place for your work tasks.
  • Look out for your coworkers.
  • Stop work if needed to address hazards.

Lab Safety Rules and Guidelines

Lab safety rules

Your safety is the constant concern to us. Common sense and personal interest in safety are still the greatest guarantees of your safety at work, on the road, and at home. But knowing the proper laboratory safety signs and symbols is also important. 

Here are the safety rules that most commonly came up at several laboratories’ policies:

General lab safety rules

The following are rules that relate to almost every laboratory and should be included in most safety policies. They cover what you should know in the event of an emergency, proper signage, safety equipment, safely using laboratory equipment, and basic common-sense rules. 

  • Be sure to read all fire alarm and safety signs and follow the instructions in the event of an accident or emergency. 
  • Ensure you are fully aware of your facility’s/building’s evacuation procedures. 
  • Make sure you know where your lab’s safety equipment—including first aid kit(s), fire extinguishers, eye wash stations, and safety showers—is located and how to properly use it. 
  • Know emergency phone numbers to use to call for help in case of an emergency. 
  • Lab areas containing carcinogens, radioisotopes, biohazards, and lasers should be properly marked with the appropriate warning signs. 
  • Open flames should never be used in the laboratory unless you have permission from a qualified supervisor. 
  • Make sure you are aware of where your lab’s exits and fire alarms are located. 
  • An area of 36″ diameter must be kept clear at all times around all fire sprinkler heads. 
  • If there is a fire drill, be sure to turn off all electrical equipment and close all containers.
  • Always work in properly-ventilated areas. 
  • Do not chew gum, drink, or eat while working in the lab. 
  • Laboratory glassware should never be utilized as food or beverage containers. 
  • Each time you use glassware, be sure to check it for chips and cracks. Notify your lab supervisor of any damaged glassware so it can be properly disposed of.
  • Never use lab equipment that you are not approved or trained by your supervisor to operate. 
  • If an instrument or piece of equipment fails during use, or isn’t operating properly, report the issue to a technician right away. Never try to repair an equipment problem on your own.
  • If you are the last person to leave the lab, make sure to lock all the doors and turn off all ignition sources.
  • Do not work alone in the lab.
  • Never leave an ongoing experiment unattended. 
  • Never lift any glassware, solutions, or other types of apparatus above eye level. 
  • Never smell or taste chemicals. 
  • Do not pipette by mouth. 
  • Make sure you always follow the proper procedures for disposing lab waste.
  • Report all injuries, accidents, and broken equipment or glass right away, even if the incident seems small or unimportant.
  • If you have been injured, yell out immediately and as loud as you can to ensure you get help.
  • In the event of a chemical splashing into your eye(s) or on your skin, immediately flush the affected area(s) with running water for at least 20 minutes.
  • If you notice any unsafe conditions in the lab, let your supervisor know as soon as possible.

Housekeeping safety rules

Housekeeping lab safety rules

Laboratory housekeeping rules also apply to most facilities and deal with the basic upkeep, tidiness, and maintenance of a safe laboratory. 

  • Always keep your work area(s) tidy and clean. 
  • Make sure that all eye wash stations, emergency showers, fire extinguishers, and exits are always unobstructed and accessible. 
  • Only materials you require for your work should be kept in your work area. Everything else should be stored safely out of the way.
  • Only lightweight items should be stored on top of cabinets; heavier items should always be kept at the bottom.
  • Solids should always be kept out of the laboratory sink. 
  • Any equipment that requires air flow or ventilation to prevent overheating should always be kept clear. 

Dress code safety rules 

Dresscode lab safety rules

As you’d expect, laboratory dress codes set a clear policy for the clothing employees should avoid wearing in order to prevent accidents or injuries in the lab. For example skirts and shorts might be nice for enjoying the warm weather outside, but quickly become a liability in the lab where skin can be exposed to heat or dangerous chemicals. 

  • Always tie back hair that is chin-length or longer.
  • Make sure that loose clothing or dangling jewelry is secured, or avoid wearing it in the first place. 
  • Never wear sandals or other open-toed shoes in the lab. Footwear should always cover the foot completely. 
  • Never wear shorts or skirts in the lab.
  • When working with Bunsen burners, lighted splints, matches, etc., acrylic nails are not allowed.

Personal protection safety rules

Personal protection lab safety rules

Unlike laboratory dress code policies, rules for personal protection cover what employees should be wearing in the lab in order to protect themselves from various hazards, as well as basic hygiene rules to follow to avoid any sort of contamination.

  • When working with equipment, hazardous materials, glassware, heat, and/or chemicals, always wear face shields or safety glasses.
  • When handling any toxic or hazardous agent, always wear the appropriate gloves.
  • When performing laboratory experiments, you should always wear a smock or lab coat.
  • Before leaving the lab or eating, always wash your hands.
  • After performing an experiment, you should always wash your hands with soap and water. 
  • When using lab equipment and chemicals, be sure to keep your hands away from your body, mouth, eyes, and face.

Chemical safety rules

Chemical lab safety rules

Since almost every lab uses chemicals of some sort, chemical safety rules are a must. Following these policies helps employees avoid spills and other accidents, as well as damage to the environment outside of the lab. These rules also set a clear procedure for employees to follow in the event that a spill does occur, in order to ensure it is cleaned up properly and injuries are avoided. 

  • Every chemical should be treated as though it were dangerous.
  • Do not allow any solvent to come into contact with your skin. 
  • All chemicals should always be clearly labeled with the name of the substance, its concentration, the date it was received, and the name of the person responsible for it.
  • Before removing any of the contents from a chemical bottle, read the label twice.
  • Never take more chemicals from a bottle than you need for your work. 
  • Do not put unused chemicals back into their original container. 
  • Chemicals or other materials should never be taken out of the laboratory. 
  • Chemicals should never be mixed in sink drains. 
  • Flammable and volatile chemicals should only be used in a fume hood. 
  • If a chemical spill occurs, clean it up right away.
  • Ensure that all chemical waste is disposed of properly. 

Chemistry lab safety rules

As chemistry labs are one of the most common types, these basic chemistry lab safety rules are relevant to many scientists, dealing with the safe performance of common activities and tasks in the average chemistry lab: 

  • Before you start an experiment, make sure you are fully aware of the hazards of the materials you’ll be using.  
  • When refluxing, distilling, or transferring volatile liquids, always exercise extreme caution.  
  • Always pour chemicals from large containers to smaller ones.  
  • Never pour chemicals that have been used back into the stock container.   
  • Never tap flasks that are under vacuum.   
  • Chemicals should never be mixed, measured, or heated in front of your face.  
  • Water should not be poured into concentrated acid. Instead, pour acid slowly into water while stirring constantly. In many cases, mixing acid with water is exothermic. 

Electrical safety rules

Electrical lab safety rules

Like almost every other workplace, laboratories contain electronic equipment. Electrical safety rules help prevent the misuse of electronic instruments, electric shocks and other injuries, and ensure that any damaged equipment, cords, or plugs are reported to the appropriate authorities so they can be repaired or replaced. 

  • Before using any high voltage equipment (voltages above 50Vrms ac and 50V dc), make sure you get permission from your lab supervisor. 
  •  High voltage equipment should never be changed or modified in any way. 
  • Always turn off a high voltage power supply when you are attaching it.
  • Use only one hand if you need to adjust any high voltage equipment.  It’s safest to place your other hand either behind your back or in a pocket.
  • Make sure all electrical panels are unobstructed and easily accessible. 
  • Whenever you can, avoid using extension cords.

Laser safety rules

Laser lab safety rules

Perhaps not as common as some of the other laboratory safety rules listed here, many laboratories do use lasers and it’s important to follow some key rules of thumb to prevent injuries. In particular, accidents due to reflection are something that many employees may not think about. A clear set of rules for the use of lasers is essential to ensure that everyone is aware of all hazards and that the appropriate personal protective equipment is worn at all times. 

  • Even if you are certain that a laser beam is “eye” safe or low power, you should never look into it.
  • Always wear the appropriate goggles in areas of the lab where lasers are present. The most common laser injuries are those caused by scattered laser light reflecting either off the shiny surface of optical tables, the sides of mirrors, or off of mountings. Goggles will help you avoid damage from such scattered light.
  • You should never keep your head at the same level as the laser beam.
  • Always keep the laser beam at or below chest level. 
  • Laser beams should never be allowed to spread into the lab. Beam stops should always be used to intercept laser beams.
  • Do not walk through laser beams.

Source : Lab Manager

FIRE PROTECTIVE GEAR

Each year, you spend time, effort and money on training, and you gain experience. Over time, you enhance your skills and evolve as a firefighter.

At PT.Weldbro International, we think your firefighter gear should evolve as well. That’s why we offer models and styles of turnouts, boots, helmets and firefighter accessories and we deliver more innovation in our PPE product lines. We are actively raising the bar on firefighting technologies, from the enhanced comfort and mobility of ergonomically-designed turnout coat and pants patterns to our innovative moisture management technologies for improved safety. We also offer footwear designed to deliver exceptional comfort, safety and durability, as well as PPE cleaning and repair services that ensure your gear is safe while reducing replacement costs.

The hazards you face are constantly changing. That’s why PT. Weldbro International continue to uphold tradition of providing the finest quality fire safety gear available on the market today. We are committed to the ongoing delivery of PPE innovations that improve your health, safety and performance in the line of duty. Try our gear on for size and feel the difference for yourself.

STOP, DROP, & ROLL

Make sure you keep your clothes away from fire. If your clothes catch on fire always remember to STOP, DROP, and ROLLThe principles of STOP, DROP, and ROLL are simple.

STOP, do not run, if your clothes catch on fire.
DROP to the floor in a prone position. Cover your face with your hands to protect it from the flames.
ROLL over and over to smother the fire. Don’t stop until the flames have been extinguished.

If you are near someone whose clothing catches on fire, be sure to stop them from running and make them STOP, DROP, and ROLL.

Once the fire is out, you must treat a burn injury. Cool a burn with cool water.

Types Of Fire Extinguishers And What They Do

What is fire ?

Fire can destroy your house and all of your possession¬s in less than an hour, and it can reduce an entire forest to a pile of ash and charred wood. It’s also a terrifying weapon, with nearly unlimited destructive power. Fire kills more people every year than any other force of nature.

But at the same time, fire is extraordinarily helpful. It gave humans the first form of portable light and heat. It also gave us the ability to cook food, forge metal tools, form pottery, harden bricks and drive power plants. There are few things that have done as much harm to humanity as fire, and few things that have done as much good. It is certainly one of the most important ¬forces in human history.

Typically, fire comes from a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and some sort of fuel (wood or gasoline, for example). Of course, wood and gasoline don’t spontaneously catch on fire just because they’re surrounded by oxygen. For the combustion reaction to happen, you have to heat the fuel to its ignition temperature.

The 3 elements (in red) is known as the Fire Triangle and they are essential in order for fires to exist.

Fire Pyramid

By removing any of these 3 elements, the fire will stop. So fire extinguishers are designed to remove one of these elements by applying an agent that either cools the burning fuel, or removes or displaces the surrounding oxygen.

The European Standard BS EN3 specifies that All Fire Extinguisher Bodies are to be coloured “RED” regardless of the contents of the extinguisher.

All Extinguishers now have a 5% area of the label that is Colour Coded which denotes its contents.

> Water Extinguishers

Water extinguishers are filled with regular tap water. The best way to remove heat is to dump water on the fire but, depending on the type of fire, this is not always the best option.

> Foam Extinguishers

The foam has a blanketing effect that knocks down the flames, smothering & cooling them, thus preventing re-ignition of the flammable vapours by sealing the surface of the solution.

> Dry Powder Extinguishers

Dry powder fire extinguishers interrupt the chemical reaction of the fire by coating the fuel with a thin layer of powder, separating the fuel from the surrounding oxygen.

> Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguishers

CO2 extinguishers contain carbon dioxide, a non-flammable gas. CO2 is heavier than oxygen so these extinguishers work by displacing or taking away oxygen from the surrounding area. CO2 is also very cold so it also works by cooling the fuel. CO2 is non corrosive and non conductive.

How fire extinguishers work (PASS)

Pull the Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.

Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames. This is important – in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel.

Squeeze the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.

Sweep from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish.

Remember: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames.

A typical fire extinguisher contains 10 seconds of extinguishing power. This could be less if it has already been partially discharged.

Once the fire is out, don’t walk away! Watch the area for a few minutes in case it re-ignites. Recharge the extinguisher immediately after use.

All fires can be very dangerous and life-threatening. Your safety should always be your primary concern when attempting to fight a fire.

Before deciding to fight a fire, be certain that:

The fire is small and not spreading. A fire can double in size within seconds.

You have the proper fire extinguisher for what is burning.

The fire won’t block your exit if you can’t control it. A good way to ensure this is to keep the exit at your back.

You know your fire extinguisher works. Assure the pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge, the needle should be in the green zone – not too high and not too low.

You know how to use your fire extinguisher. There’s not enough time to read instructions when a fire occurs.

Never fight a fire if:

The fire is spreading rapidly. Only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is in its early stages. If the fire is already spreading quickly, evacuate and call the fire department.

You don’t know what is burning. Unless you know what is burning, you won’t know what type of fire extinguisher to use. Even if you have an ABC extinguisher, there could be something that will explode or produce highly toxic smoke.

You don’t have the proper fire extinguisher. The wrong type of extinguisher can be dangerous or life-threatening.

There is too much smoke or you are at risk of inhaling smoke. Seven out of ten fire-related deaths occur from breathing poisonous gases produced by the fire.

Any sort of fire will produce some amount of carbon monoxide, the most deadly gas produced by a fire. Materials such as wool, silk, nylon and some plastics can produce other highly toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, or hydrogen chloride. Beware – all of these can be fatal.

Smoke inhalation or exposure to fire itself can be life threatening.