Peach Tree Consulting Fire Safety

Welcome CarGuys!


Did you know that in 2016, there were almost 97,000 workplace fires in the United States?  The top 5 causes were:

  1. Cooking fires - 30%
  2. Carelessness - 11%
  3. Intentional - 9.3%
  4. Electrical - 7.4%
  5. Heating - 7.4%


PeachTree Safety Consulting Group has produced this short 40-minute online training course on fire extinguisher use for CarGuys employees.  While an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, things do happen.  It is important to know what to do in case of a fire.  We hope you learn a little and enjoy this training session a lot.

What you should expect to learn in this training session

Learning objectives

At the end of this training session, you will be able to:

  1. Define the term fire
  2. List the three (3) parts of the "Fire Triangle"
  3. Differentiate the classes of fire
  4. Name the parts of a fire extinguisher
  5. Locate a fire extinguisher at CarGuys
  6. Examine a fire extinguisher and determine its serviceability
  7. Explain why dry chemical fire extinguishers must be refilled every 6 years
  8. Demonstrate how to use the P.A.S.S. method to extinguish a fire

What is fire?

Fire is defined as the rapid oxidation of a material those consumption manifests itself as heat, light, and flame.  Chemical explosions, fire, and rust are the exact same chemical process only explosions are super fast and rusting is incredibly slow.

The "Fire Triangle"

In order to exist, fire needs three things:

  • An ignition source with enough thermal energy to ignite the fuel 
  • Enough oxygen to sustain combustion
  • A ready supply of flammable material

Classes of fires

There are five classes of fires

  • Class 'A' fires
  • Class 'B' fires
  • Class 'C' fires
  • Class 'D' fires
  • Class 'K' fires

Classes of fires continued

Class 'A' fires

These fires involve ordinary combustibles like paper, wood, cotton, cloth, rubber, and some plastics.

You can help prevent class 'A' fires by keeping a neat workplace and keeping flammable materials away from ignition sources. 

Classes of fire continued

Class 'B' fires

These fires involve petroleum oil, gasoline, paints, solvents, etc. This is the kind of fire that would most like occur in the work bays at CarGuys.

This is burning oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. Notice how water has no effect on the fire.

Classes of fire continued

Class 'C' fires

These fires involve electrical current and plugged-in electronic devices.

CarGuys office personnel should anticipate and prevent Class 'C' fires by making sure not to overload individual electrical circuits by plugging in too many devices into one outlet.

Classes of fire continued

Class 'D' fires

These fires involve flammable metals like sodium, magnesium, potassium, aluminum, and lithium which burn VIOLENTLY.

Watch what happens when a lithium battery is overcharged and you'll understand why airlines do not want them sitting the cargo hold of an airliner.

Classes of fire continued

Class 'K' fires

K stands for "kitchen".  Unlike class 'B' fires, class 'K' fires involve cooking oils and animal fats.

Remember from the introduction that 30% of workplace fires are cooking fires?

Deciding what to do before there is a fire

We don't CarGuys to be these guys!

The first rule of having an emergency action plan is to have a plan

Who will leave? Will anyone stay?

Predetermine if everyone will evacuate the building or will a select few stay behind to shut down critical operations.  Are there employees who have been assigned to fight a small fire?

Evacuation Routes

Are the evacuation routes for each part of the building clearly posted and known? 

Accounting for employees

Decide where everyone will gather outside.  Make a habit of performing a head count and noting who is still inside the building and where they were last seen.

Evacuation plans and fire drills

Evacuation routes need to be...

  • Straightforward
  • Unobstructed
  • Unlikely to expose people to other hazards
  • Wide enough to allow multiple people to exit quickly

Fire drills should be...

  • Practiced regularly
  • Taken seriously

Fire fighting risk assessment - should you stay or should you go?

Favorable conditions

  • The fire has not spread and it is no taller than you are
  • It isn't hard for you to breathe
  • The room isn't hot or filled with smoke and visibility is good
  • You have clear evacuation route behind you

Time to evacuate

  • The fire is partially hidden, over 60 square feet in area, or involves solvents
  • It is hard to breathe
  • It is too hot to approach within the effective range (8'-10') for a fire extinguisher and smoke is filling the room quickly
  • There is a good chance fire will block your escape

Fire extinguisher nomenclature

Scroll over each of the circled i's for an explanation

Where can you find a fire extinguisher at CarGuys?

What is OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration

It is the government agency responsible for administering and enforcing workplace safety rules

OSHA rule 29 CFR 1910.157(d)(4) - Placement of fire extinguishers

Is a class 'B' fire likely?

If the work environment makes a class 'B' fire likely, then OSHA rules state that a 10-B fire extinguisher must be no more than thirty (30) feet away from a worker.

What does "10-B" mean?

The term "10-B" means that a fire extinguisher is capable of putting out a class 'B' fire that is no more than ten (10) square feet in area at its base.

What if a class 'A' fire is more likely?

For places where a class 'A' fire is more likely, there has to be a fire extinguisher within 75 feet of workers.

All fire extinguisher locations at CarGuys are clearly marked

Look for these signs...

Office personnel are urged to familiarize themselves with the the ABC fire extinguishers in the following locations:

  • Lunch room wall near the microwave
  • Hallway (recessed wall cabinet)
  • Under the front service desk your work areas

 Service technicians should stand in their work bays and count how many they see.  Remember, there is an ABC fire extinguisher capable of putting out a fire ten feet square in area within 30 feet of wherever you are.

How can you tell if a fire extinguisher is ready to use?

Regular checks are required by law

OSHA rules make an employer responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and testing of all fire extinguishers in the workplace

  • Monthly visual inspections are required by OSHA
  • Fire extinguishers meant for Class 'C' fires (dry chemical) must have the contents removed, replaced, and recharged every six (6) years. This prevents the dry chemical from setting to the bottom and forming a hard, solid lump that won't come out when the trigger is squeezed.

Regular checks are required by law

Look at the pressure gauge

Is the indicator needle pointing to the green area? Green means it is ready to go.

Regular checks are required by law

Look at the inspection tag

When was the last time an inspection was recorded?  Monthly inspections are required by law.  Have those regular inspections been recorded?

If it wasn't recorded, then it didn't happen.

How do you use a fire extinguisher?

Considerations before using a fire extinguisher

Decide if fire can be fought using a fire extinguisher

  • Is the fire too big?
  • Is your fire extinguisher too small?
  • If the answer is "yes", then evacuate the area and call the fire department

The P.A.S.S. method

P.A.S.S. stands for:

  1. Pull the safety pull to free the trigger.
  2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the operating handle and trigger to release the extinguishing agent.
  4. Sweep the stream of extinguishing agent from side to side at the fire's base until there's no more flame.

*Get another fire extinguisher and watch for a flareup

Remember that different classes of fires require different types of fire extinguishers

This video from Diamond Protection shows the P.A.S.S. method being used on different types of fires using different types of fire extinguishers.  There's even an example of why you don't use water to put out a class 'B' fire.


So let's review

In this training session, you have learned:

  • The definition of fire
  • The three parts of the "fire triangle"
  • The five classes of fires
  • The parts of a fire extinguisher
  • Where to locate a fire extinguisher at CarGuys
  • How to determine if a fire extinguisher is serviceable
  • Why dry chemical fire extinguishers must be serviced every six years
  • The P.A.S.S. method of using a fire extinguisher

And please remember, in case of a fire, perform these actions first!

Evacuate the building

Let your fellow employees know that there's a fire. In a stand-alone building like CarGuys, it is easier and safer to have everyone follow their pre-planned evacuation routes and get out of the building.

Call the fire department

Maybe you will be successful putting out the fire.  Maybe you won't.  Maybe it will flare back up.  It's better to safe than sorry.  Calling the professionals and give them a head start.

Application of knowledge

Fire extinguishers containing dry chemical agent must have their contents replaced every:

  • Every 6 months
  • Every year
  • Every 3 years
  • Every 6 years

Match the class of fire with its definition

  • Class A fires
    Involve ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth, etc.
  • Class B fires
    Involve burning petroleum oil, gasoline, grease, etc.
  • Class C fires
    Involve electrical current and pulled-in electric devices
  • Class D fires
    Involve burning metals and salts
  • Class K fires
    Kitchen fires

What is correct way to use a fire extinguisher? Drag & drop to put the options below in the correct order.

  • Pull the safety pin
  • Aim the nozzle at the fire
  • Squeeze the handle and trigger assembly
  • Sweep the stream of extinguishing agent from side to side at the base of the fire

What 3 items make up the "Fire Triangle:?

  • Heat
  • Fuel
  • Shock
  • Friction
  • Oxygen
  • Pressure

OSHA rules regarding fire extinguishers in the workplace

  • Office spaces must have the same number of fire extinguishers as the work bays. That way, everyone is equally protected.
  • Officer spaces need one fire extinguisher within 75 feet, while the work bays need a fire extinguisher within 30 feet.

Fire extinguisher nomenclature - match the part with its description

  • Nozzle
    Where the extinguishing agent comes out
  • Safety pin
    Keeps the fire extinguisher from being accidentally discharged
  • Handle and trigger assembly
    Used to aim and activate the fire extinguisher
  • Pressure gauge
    Visual indicator of the fire extinguisher's serviceability
  • Body or tube
    Housing that contains the extinguishing agent

Questions about fire extinguisher serviceability

  • OSHA rules state that fire extinguishers should be visually checked every 6 months
  • OSHA rules state that inspections should be recorded on a tag attached to the fire extinguisher
  • The pressure gauge's indicator needle should be pointing to the green area of the gauge