Fire safety in the laboratory06 Feb 2021 - Flaaim
Accidents involving fire is the most common type of accidents that happen in the laboratory. You may be mixing some reagents then a fire breaks out. There are so many fire safety rules in laboratory that you should be well aware of. This article will help you know what to do in case of a fire outbreak. Before getting to know what to do in case of a fire outbreak, first understand how a fire can break out.
- Small bench fires are very common but it’s on rare occasions that you experience large fires
- Splash fires involving solvents that will lead to small explosions and rapid spreading of fire.
- Fuel loads are very high in the lab are quite high.
Here are some ways in which you can prevent those fires from happening.
Plan your work
So many fires happen because one had not arranged his/her working things properly and during rushing to finish an experiment, you start a small fire.
Use fewer materials
A clean and clear surface will reduce the risk of fire starting and spreading
Observing proper fire safety practices
Some of these practices include
- Storing your solvents properly
- Wear personal protective clothes
- Have an emergency plan in case a fire breaks out
- Training. Know how you are going to act when a fire breaks out and learn how to manage a small fire and if the fire is big ask for help. Learn how to use the fire extinguisher present in the laboratory.
In a scenario where fire breaks out here are four procedures that will ensure safety in the laboratory.
In case you cause a fire when doing experiments, the first thing you do is notify the people around you. You may yell, press the fire alarm button or call using a phone to those who did not hear you yell. The safest way to do so is to use a fire alarm as everyone can hear it.
Once you notify everyone of the fire outbreak, now is time to evacuate the building. First, you move away from where the fire has started. Secondly, you need to leave the room that the problem has occurred and lastly, you evacuate the building.
Immediately you evacuate, try to prevent the fire from spreading. This can be achieved by closing doors and windows behind you. This will help in containing the fire. The moment all the people in the building have been evacuated, you can try administering first aid to those with minor injuries and for those with major injuries, you can find a way to take them to hospital.
If you can bring the fire down, please use fire extinguishers, and if not seek professional help.
Most fires can be contained if they are well handled and safety is observed. Make an effort to not start a fire when doing your experiments.