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Introduction

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Fire/life safety involves numerous safety issues including fire prevention, fire suppression, and emergency evacuation/response. Fire/life safety is everyone's responsibility.

TAMUS-HSC is committed to providing a safe environment for building occupants and emergency response personnel. TAMUSHSC uses nationally accepted codes as guidelines for inspections, testing, and procedures.

IMPORTANT: Learn how to prevent fires and respond to fires -- what you learn will be invaluable.

2. General Fire Information

Most fires produce an immense amount of smoke that is highly toxic. In fact, smoke is responsible for more fire fatalities than flames. A smokey fire can have the following effect on humans:

  • Within 30 seconds - Disorientation
  • Within 2 minutes - Unconsciousness
  • Within 3 minutes - Death

Timing is critical during a fire. To ensure your safety, you must know how to prevent and respond to any fire emergency.

3. Fire Prevention

The greatest protection against property loss and injuries from fire is prevention. Follow these guidelines to promote fire/life safety:

  • Minimize combustible storage.
  • Store waste materials in suitable containers.
  • Use flammable materials in well-ventilated areas. Use and store flammables away from ignition sources, such as cigarettes.
  • Keep equipment in good working order. Have electrical wiring and appliances inspected regularly.
  • Ensure that heating units are properly safeguarded.
  • Do not hunt for gas leaks using a open flame. Use approved gas indicators.
  • Report and repair all gas leaks immediately.
  • Conduct hot work in well-ventilated areas.
  • Test enclosed or confined spaces for flammable atmospheres.
  • Use open flames carefully. Do not use open flames where flammable atmospheres may be present.

For more information on fire/life safety, refer to other chapters in this manual, including Emergency Preparedness, Electrical Safety, Laboratory Safety, Chemical Safety, Confined Space, etc.

4. Fire Response

If you see a fire or smoke, or if you smell smoke, complete the following steps:

  1. Pull the fire pull station to begin evacuating the building.
  2. If you are not in immediate danger, call 9-911 to report the fire. Provide the operator with the following information:
    • Building or area name
    • Approximate location of the fire
    • Size and type of fire
    • Your name
  3. If you are formally trained in fire fighting techniques and are not in immediate danger, you may attempt to fight the fire. Do not place yourself or others in unnecessary danger.
  4. Exit the building by following posted evacuation routes. Do not use elevators during an emergency.

During actual emergencies, building occupants must receive permission from the component police / security, the Fire Department, or the Safety Office before re-entering the building.

NOTE: Evacuation plans and fire drills are essential for building occupants to respond correctly to a fire alarm. Refer to the Emergency Preparedness chapter for more information.