Fighting a Job Site Fire

All workplaces and job sites should have fire extinguishers immediately available. Employees should be trained to use fire extinguishers, know when to get out and procedures for evacuating the area. Employees should be familiar with fire prevention methods, and processes in the area that can catch fire easily.

Toolbox Tips

  1. Verify that ABC-rated dry-chemical fire extinguishers are available wherever welding, brazing or hot work is being performed.
  2. Verify that fire extinguishers are available in machine cabs, on boom lift platforms and in storage trailers.
  3. Post the street address for the job site in a highly visible area accessible to all employees.
  4. Instruct employees to dial 911 for any emergencies on the job site.
  5. Assess the situation and make sure any attempts to extinguish a fire will not endanger employees.
  6. Verify that dangerous containers will not rupture, vent or explode during extinguishment.
  7. Use gloves and eye protection whenever possible during fire extinguishment.
  8. Evacuate employees and bystanders from the area surrounding the fire.
  9. Avoid smoke. Abandon the effort if smoky conditions could cause danger for employees.
  10. Use the P. A.S.S. method to extinguish a fire, when conditions are safe: 
  • P – PULL the safety pin and test the extinguisher.
  • A – AIM the extinguisher nozzle.
  • S – SQUEEZE the extinguisher trigger valve.
  • S – SWEEP across the base of the fire

During extinguishment, don’t turn your back to the fire. If more than two extinguishers are needed, stop extinguishment activity and evacuate the area. During the evacuation, take a head count. Repeat immediately following the incident to verify everyone has made it out of the structure and report any missing employees the fire department immediately.