Fire Extinguishers and Blankets

It should be emphasized that use of safety showers, fire blankets, or fire extinguishers are of secondary importance.  These items should be used only when immediately at hand. It should be recognized that rolling on the floor not only smothers the fire but also helps to keep flames out of the victim’s face, reducing inhalation of smoke.

Some laboratories are provided with fire blankets. The laboratory is responsible for maintaining fire blankets.

Fire extinguishers are provided to laboratories in the event a fire blocks a means of egress and the laboratory worker must fight a fire to save his or her own life.  No laboratory worker is expected or required to use a fire extinguisher except to escape a life-threatening situation.

Fire extinguishers are inspected annually by an outside vender and monthly by Facilities Management and Planning (FMP) staff, they are replaced as needed and after use.  FMP manages the installation, inspection, and replacement of fire extinguishers.

Laboratories should have the appropriate class of extinguisher for the fire hazards in the laboratory.  In general, a class BC or class ABC extinguisher is appropriate.  In some instances, this extinguisher is supplemented with a class D fire extinguisher, as required.
Laboratory personnel are trained on the various classes of fires and basic fire extinguisher use in annual Laboratory Safety and Hazardous Waste Management Training.

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