Fire Safety and Prevention 181

The class Fire Safety and Prevention examines common workplace fire safety procedures. Fires, no matter how small, should be reported immediately. Buildings are equipped with extinguishing systems that actuate an alarm and discharge an extinguishing agent to control advanced stage fires. Portable fire extinguishers are available for extinguishing incipient stage fires using the P.A.S.S. technique. Employees not authorized to fight the fire should evacuate immediately. Employers should create an emergency action plan that dictates the procedures to be carried out in the event of an emergency. In the event of a fire, employees should stay calm, follow procedures, and go directly to assembly areas. Employers must account for all employees and provide first aid until medical services arrive. After taking this class, users will be able to describe OSHA regulations regarding fire safety and how they impact day-to-day operations in the workplace.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 18

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • The Importance of Fire Safety and Prevention
  • Emergency Reporting and Internal Chains of Command
  • Fire Prevention Basics
  • Fire Safety Basics
  • Workplace Fire Prevention Plans
  • Fire Prevention Facts
  • Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
  • Fire Extinguishing Systems
  • Portable Fire Extinguishing Equipment
  • Types of Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • Portable Fire Extinguisher Use
  • Detecting and Extinguishing a Fire
  • Evacuation Routes and Exits
  • To Fight or Flee?
  • Fire Brigades
  • Standpipe and Small Hose Systems
  • Medical Assistance
  • Fire Safety Review
  • Describe an emergency action plan.
  • Identify strategies for reporting workplace emergencies.
  • Identify fire hazards.
  • Describe the basic elements of fire safety.
  • Describe the purpose of a fire prevention plan.
  • Identify various fire detectors and alarms.
  • Describe fire extinguishing systems.
  • Describe portable fire extinguishers.
  • Identify the main types of portable fire extinguishers.
  • Explain the steps for using a portable fire extinguisher.
  • Identify the purpose of a floor plan.
  • Describe the different options available for responding to a workplace fire.
  • Define fire brigade.
  • Describe standpipe and small hose systems.
  • Describe the employer's responsibility for providing medical assistance.
Vocabulary Term

air-pressurized water extinguishers

APW extinguishers. A fire extinguisher filled with water and pressurized air. Air-pressurized water extinguishers are used to extinguish ordinary (Class A) fires of wood, paper, cloth, rubber, and plastics.

alarm systems

An audible or visual device that signals occupants to danger. Alarm systems imply an emergency procedure should be carried out.

American Red Cross

A national emergency response organization. The American Red Cross aids in the prevention and relief of suffering individuals and communities.

audible alarms

A sound device that alerts employees to danger and signals an emergency procedure should be followed. Audible alarms include bells, horns, sirens, and voice announcement systems.

automatic sprinkler system

A network of interconnected piping and sprinklers used for controlling and extinguishing fires. Automatic sprinkler systems include a control valve and a device for actuating an alarm.

auxiliary power supply

An alternative source of energy used to power devices in case of electrical failure. Manual pull box alarms have an auxiliary power supply.

back-up coordinator

The designated employee responsible for carrying out established emergency response procedures when the emergency response coordinator is not present. The internal chain of command is led by the emergency response coordinator and the back-up coordinator.

carbon dioxide

A colorless, odorless, inert gas used for extinguishing fires. Carbon dioxide works by reducing the amount of oxygen or fuel vapor in fire.

carbon dioxide extinguishers

A fire extinguisher filled with carbon dioxide under extreme pressure. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are used to extinguish electrical (Class C) fires.

cardiopulmonary resuscitation

A technique designed to temporarily circulate oxygenated blood through the body of a person whose heart has stopped. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is commonly known as CPR.

chain of command

The sequence of individuals responsible for coordinating the work of an emergency response team. The chain of command usually includes at least a coordinator and a backup coordinator.

Class A fires

An ordinary combustible fire of wood, cloth, paper, rubber, or plastic. Class A fires can be extinguished with air-pressurized water extinguishers.

Class B fires

A flammable liquid fire of oil, grease, tar, or gas. Class B fires can be extinguished with dry chemical extinguishers.

Class C fires

An electrical fire caused by live electrical equipment such as wires and overloaded outlets. Class C fires can be extinguished with carbon dioxide extinguishers.

Class II systems

A 1.5 inch (3.81 centimeter) diameter hose system which provides a means for the control or extinguishment of incipient stage fires. Any employee can use a Class II system.

Class III systems

A standpipe system that can only be used by employees trained in fighting fires. Class III systems can put out fires somewhat larger than incipient stage.

clean-agent fire extinguishing system

An engineered set of components that work together to detect a fire, alert occupants, and extinguish a fire. Fixed fire extinguishing systems use a gas or chemical extinguishing agent to extinguish fires.


A machining process that uses a tool to create chips and remove metal from a workpiece. Cutting creates sparks, which can be a fire hazard near flammable materials.

dry chemical extinguishers

A fire extinguisher filled with a flame-retardant powder, which separates fuel from oxygen. Dry chemical extinguishers are used to extinguish flammable liquid (Class B) fires.

emergency action plan

A written plan detailing procedures to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during an emergency. An emergency action plan should include evacuation, critical shutdown, and emergency reporting procedures, as well as methods for accounting for personnel and rescue and medical duty assignment.

emergency response coordinator

The designated employee responsible for carrying out established emergency response procedures. The internal chain of command is led by the emergency response coordinator.

evacuation wardens

An employee designated to help move other employees to safety. There is usually one evacuation warden for every twenty employees.

extinguishing agent

A material used with fixed, automatic, or portable fire extinguishing systems to suppress or put out fires. Common extinguishing agents include water, air, carbon dioxide, and halon.

fire alarm

An audible or visual device that alerts occupants to a fire emergency. Fire alarms usually signal occupants to evacuate the building.

fire brigade

An internal or industrial fire department consisting of employees trained to fight incipient stage and advanced stage fires. Fire brigades should be re-trained yearly.

fire detector

A device that senses smoke, heat, or flames from a fire. When a fire detector senses a fire, it actuates an audible and/or visual alarm.

fire extinguishing system

A fixed or automatic system used for controlling or putting out fires. Fire extinguishing systems also detect fires and alert occupants.

fire prevention plans

FPP. A plan of proactive procedures implemented to avoid fires in the workplace. FPPs include such things as a list of all major fire hazards and types of fire protection equipment needed to control these hazards.

fixed fire extinguishing systems

Any fire extinguishing system permanently installed in a building. The requirements for a fixed fire extinguishing system should be located in a fire prevention plan.

flame-retardant powder

An extinguishing agent made to resist burning. Flame-retardant powder is used in dry chemical extinguishers.


Able to ignite or burn with relative ease. Gasoline is a flammable liquid.

floor plan

A diagram of a building detailing the location of primary and secondary exits, assembly points, fire extinguishing equipment, and evacuation routes. Floor plans should be posted in highly visible locations in a workplace.


The use of an abrasive to wear away at the surface of a workpiece and change its shape. Grinding creates sparks, which can be a fire hazard near flammable materials.

Halotron I

A vaporizing, ozone-friendly liquid extinguishing agent. Halotron I requires no clean-up after the fire is out.

incipient stage

When a fire is at its beginning stage. Incipient stage fires can be controlled with portable fire extinguishers, Class II standpipe systems, and small hose systems.

manual pull box alarms

A fire alarm system with a pull handle that actuates an audible and visual alarm. Manual pull box alarms have an auxiliary power supply.

mono ammonium phosphate

A non-conductive, mildly corrosive extinguishing agent. Once the fire is out, the area must be thoroughly cleaned to avoid corrosion.

multi-purpose extinguishers

A fire extinguisher used for extinguishing Class A, B, and C fires. Multi-purpose extinguishers contain mono ammonium phosphate or Halotron I as the extinguishing agent.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA. The United States government agency that regulates the conditions in working environments to ensure the health and safety of employees. OSHA requires all workplaces to create a formal emergency action plan.

P.A.S.S. technique

A common procedure for operating a fire extinguisher. P.A.S.S. is an acronym for PULL, AIM, SQUEEZE, and SWEEP.

personal protective equipment

PPE. Any example of various safety equipment that workers wear or use to prevent injury in the workplace. Safety glasses are common PPE.


A network of pipes designed to distribute an extinguishing agent. All fire protection systems have corrosion-resistant piping and fittings suitable for all temperatures.

portable fire extinguishers

An approved canister of high-pressure gas that forces an extinguishing agent from a main cylinder through a tube and out of a nozzle. The most common fire extinguishers are air-pressurized water extinguishers, carbon dioxide extinguishers, dry chemical extinguishers, and multi-purpose extinguishers.


A gas kept under pressure in a container for expelling the extinguishing agent. Propellants should be nonflammable.

Safety Data Sheet

SDS. A document that contains information on the properties of a substance. An SDS also contains fire safety information.

sheltering in place

Keeping employees inside of a room or building during an emergency. Procedures for sheltering in place should be followed if evacuation is not a safe option.

small hose systems

A system of hose ranging in diameter from 0.625 to 1.5 inches (1.588 to 3.81 centimeters) that is for the use of employees. A small hose system provides a means for the control and extinguishment of incipient stage fires.

sodium bicarbonate

A non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-conductive extinguishing agent. Sodium bicarbonate is a type of flame-retardant powder.

standpipe system

A hose system that discharges the water for use in firefighting. Standpipe systems are rated as Class I, II, or III depending on the diameter of the hose and water flow capacity.

stop, drop, and roll

A fire safety technique used in the case that clothing, hair, or anything attached to the body catches fire. The person on fire first stops, then drops to the ground, and finally, rolls to extinguish the flames.

strobe lights

A high intensity flash tube that is ideal for signaling in areas where high ambient light levels make traditional rotating or flashing lights difficult to distinguish. Visual alarms sometimes use strobe lights.

visual alarms

A visual device that alerts employees to danger and signals an emergency procedure should be followed. Visual alarms use steady, flashing, or strobe lights.


A joining process that uses heat, pressure, and/or chemicals to fuse two materials together permanently. Welding creates sparks, which can be a fire hazard near flammable materials.