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Fire Protection Programs


By: Ron Parker STS,CHST


Wikipedia defines fire protection as “The study and practice of mitigating the unwanted effects of potentially destructive fires.” What do you, as a safety professional, know about fire protection? Wikipedia defines fire protection as “The study and practice of mitigating the unwanted effects of potentially destructive fires.” CFR 1926 OSHA Construction Industry Regulations, Subpart F (a) (1), states that the employer shall be responsible for the development of a fire protection program. This program will be followed from start to finish of any construction project. This is a great idea as long as you are aware of the program, understand and implement the program. Fire safety is as important as other safety programs. Read and understand Subpart F of the CFR 1926 manual.


Fire Extinguishers

Making inspections of fire extinguishers and putting your initials and the date on the inspection card is just a part of the program. Do you know the types of fire extinguishers, which extinguisher to use for different types of fires, and just important, how to use them? Table A-1, Fire Extinguishing Data, of the 29 CFR 1926 manual will explain this information in detail. Fire extinguishers are not the only sources for fire protection. In some cases a good water supply, especially when combustible materials are prevalent, is an excellent protector. Access to all available firefighting equipment is important and shall be located for easy usage.


Fire Watch

A fire watch should be stationed at the locations where hot work will be performed. Hot work permits should be issued by a competent person for each area where hot work will be performed. You, as a safety professional, should know what areas the hot work permits will be issued. You should read and understand pertinent information listed on the hot work permit such as, but not limited to, how long a fire watch should remain at the location where hot work was performed after the task is finished.


A Workable Fire Protection Program

This article discusses only a small portion of what you as a safety professional should be aware of to have a workable fire protection program. It would be to your advantage to familiarize yourself with the aforementioned Subpart F. You owe this to yourself, your employer but most important, to the skilled workers performing these ever dangerous tasks. After having discussed fire protection the best tool for firefighting is fire prevention. This will be discussed in a future article.




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