Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are the first lines of defense in the event of a fire in a building.
Smoke alarms can be battery powered, or connected to the electrical circuitry within the building. These alarms are intended to detect a high level of smoke or particles in the air and emit a loud warning signal. If the smoke alarms in the organization’s building are battery powered, it is imperative that the batteries in the alarms are routinely checked to ensure they operate.
A portable fire extinguisher is very effective when used while the fire is small. The use of a fire extinguisher that matches the class of fire, by a person who is well trained, can save both lives and property. Portable fire extinguishers must be installed in workplaces regardless of other firefighting measures. The successful performance of a fire extinguisher in a fire situation largely depends on its proper selection, inspection, maintenance, and distribution.
Extinguishers should be clearly visible and conspicuously located and readily accessible for immediate use in the event of fire. They should be located along normal paths of travel and exit. Wall recesses and/or flush-mounted cabinets should be used as extinguisher locations whenever possible. If placed out of direct line of sight, use directional arrows to indicate the location of extinguisher and the extinguisher classification.
Portable extinguishers should be maintained in a fully charged and operable condition. They should be kept in their designated locations at all times when not being used. When extinguishers are removed for maintenance or testing, a fully charged and operable replacement unit must be provided.