Fire Safety Policy Drafting

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Notes on fire safety

See also Health and Safety Policy Drafting, First Aid Policy Drafting, General Risk Assessments, Equipment Activity Material Risk Assessments.


  • How many people can we have in the space? regulations are usually more informal for low numbers. In discussions with the univresity we've talked about up to 120 in the space. we do not have a formal maximum person limit imposed
  • should we get fire authority to check space? (no one in the meeting knew)
  • fire extinguishers. We have some - they are untested. We'll need to check how many we need and ensure they are regularly tested.
  • Once the smoke detectors are installed, they will be connected to the building fire system. There are existing sounders in the space which are sufficient according to the university fire officer. (note if we have loud equipment, we might need to think about whether we need flashing alarms too!) We have break glass units to trigger the alarm. Can we cancel it if it goes off? Probably not. It might be nice to have the phone number for the fire office somewhere anyway.
  • there was some interest in getting fire training from the "university fire in a van" people
  • a landline phone might be useful for some of this H&S stuff
  • do we need fire marshals? Two possibilities: (1) formal; (2) informal for big events to sweep space. The latter is not onerous. Perhaps public events

above N people where you need someone named to take responsibility, we'd want to have at least one

  • audible only - special procedures for deaf people, for loud equipment, wheelchair users. This suggests an induction item - do you have any disabilities??
  • great reference at sja.org - regulatory reform for fire safety - responsible person takes responsibility and appoints fire marshals. There's also a detailed guide to fire risk assessment [1]
  • Lone working - we don't think we need any special rules, except for certain pieces of kit. It's ok to be alone in the space in general. we do not think there is any requirement for a lone worker to "call in" regularly or at all to announce that they are there.
  • RichW, ChrisE, DanR - poss fire marshals
  • storage of flammable materials - risk assessments of materials rather than activities - then you have suitable housing - COSHH regulations. Also think about plastics burning producing toxic gases….
  • all FMs could be firemarshalls - easy - you want a good number
  • Have a Checklist for kit and materials coming in - it’s a risk assessment - materials, fire, THIS IS A RISK ASSESSMENT. Even for personal use. How much needs to be written down and how much is a personal assessment where it’s ok? Guidelines for oK things? checklist: what’s ok to bring in; what’s not; what to do if you are unsure. can we just do risk assessments via a web form which logs… and a searchable DB so you can see if someone did it before and grab an understandable thing. Online is also useful, people can see what they need to think about, and offer updates if regs or tech changes
  • updates about risk, rules etc -> will be sent to everyone via email. can people use makespace if they don’t have home/mobile internet?

There will be a kiosk computer on site for access to makespace stuff e.g. kit db, risk assessments,

Fire extinguisher information

Fire classifications:

  • Class A: SOLIDS such as paper, wood, plastic etc
  • Class B: FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS such as paraffin, petrol, oil etc
  • Class C: FLAMMABLE GASES such as propane, butane, methane etc
  • Class D: METALS such as aluminium, magnesium, titanium etc
  • Class E: Fires involving ELECTRICAL APPARATUS
  • Class F: Cooking OIL & FAT etc

Extinguisher type:

  • Water Fire Extinguishers: The cheapest and most widely used fire extinguishers. Used for Class A fires. Not suitable for Class B (Liquid) fires, or where electricity is involved.
  • AFFF foam fire extiguishers Foam Fire Extinguishers: More expensive than water, but more versatile. Used for Classes A & B fires. Foam spray extinguishers are not recommended for fires involving electricity, but are safer than water if inadvertently sprayed onto live electrical apparatus.
  • Dry Powder fire extinguishers Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers: Often termed the ‘multi-purpose’ extinguisher, as it can be used on classes A, B & C fires. Best for running liquid fires (Class B). Will efficiently extinguish Class C gas fires, BUT BEWARE, IT CAN BE DANGEROUS TO EXTINGUISH A GAS FIRE WITHOUT FIRST ISOLATING THE GAS SUPPLY. Special powders are available for class D metal fires. Warning: when used indoors, powder can obscure vision or damage goods and machinery. It is also very messy.
  • CO2 fire xtinguishers CO2 Fire Extinguishers: Carbon Dioxide is ideal for fires involving electrical apparatus, and will also extinguish class B liquid fires, but has NO POST FIRE SECURITY and the fire could re-ignite.
  • Wet chemical: Specialist extinguisher for class F fires.

Screwfix extinguishers:

  • Firechief Dry Powder 1kg £13.99
  • Firechief Carbon Dioxide 2kg £72.99
  • Firechief Pressure Water 6Ltr £49.99
  • Firechief Foam 6Ltr £53.99
  • Wet Chemical Extinguisher 6Ltr £99.99