Fire Prevention Plan
Providing a safe environment in which Faculty, Staff, Students, and guests work, learn, and live is a primary concern of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. Critical to this goal is being knowledgeable about what to do in the event of a Fire. Planning and preparation is our shared responsibility.
The purpose of this plan is to circulate procedures which will minimize hazards to students, faculty, staff, public, and the environment from fire. Further, to satisfy the requirements of 29CFR1910.39(b) which specifies a written Fire Prevention Plan. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard for ensuring that all employers provide a fire safety plan for their facilities is presented in subpart L of title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 1919.155. In addition, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has produced a series of standards which cover all aspects of fire prevention including the Life Safety Code for various types of buildings. The State of Oklahoma has adopted both OSHA and NFPA standards.
This plan is not intended to deal with all the complexities of fire prevention in building design, fire protection systems, high-hazard exposures, compliance with legal ordinances, or the many technicalities of fire prevention. It is meant to serve as an outline of the various aspects of the University of Oklahoma Health
Sciences Center (OUHSC) fire prevention program, and as a resource for all faculty, staff, students, and especially work area supervisors, who must carry out specific procedures in this plan.
This plan covers all Faculty, Staff, Students, volunteers and contractors who may become directly or indirectly involved in any fire situation associated with OUHSC. The fire prevention procedures are designed to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to preserve life, property, and the environment from exposure to fire hazards. The plan identifies the basic elements of the OUHSC fire prevention program and is a part of every supervisor’s day to day responsibilities.
C. Responsibilities of Specific Administrators:
1. Director, Deputy Director, Coordinator of Emergency Management and Fire Safety:
a. Develop, coordinate, implement, and maintain the OUHSC Fire Prevention Plan.
b. Obtain a list of all OUHSC personnel who have undergone Fire Safety Training (this includes Fire Chemistry, Fire Hazards, Portable Fire Extinguishers, Fire Suppression Safety, Teamwork). To ensure scheduling of required retraining is coordinated through OUHSC Fire Safety Office.
c. Maintain an active agreement with a reputable fire company to conduct fire extinguisher maintenance for OUHSC, and work with this fire company to schedule such maintenance and service as required.
d. Provide logistical and maintenance support as required in support of this plan.
e. Provide sufficient fire extinguishers of the types currently in use at OUHSC to accomplish hands-on training requirement.
2. Building Coordinators, Floor Representatives, Department Heads, and Supervisors:
a. Ensure individuals in each area or building know the location of all fire extinguishers, fire exits, evacuation routes and alarm systems and how to use them.
b. Make sure all individuals in each area have taken the Fire Safety Training, coordinated through the Fire Safety Office.
II. Fire Evacuation, Reporting and Fire Fighting Procedures.
The Code of Federal Regulations permits employers to select from among several options relative to the procedures to be followed in the event of a fire in a work area depending on whether or not fire extinguishers are provided and if designated personnel have been trained in their use. The OUHSC procedures requires that buildings and vehicles shall be evacuated upon discovery of a fire and that only those persons who have received proper training in the use of portable fire extinguishers should attempt to extinguish the fire in its early stages if it can be controlled.
B. Evacuation Policy:
In making the decision to evacuate a building, or area, everyone should put the highest priority on protection of all persons from harm, with protection of equipment, furnishings, records and other material, being secondary to the protection and safety of persons. The evacuation policy is based upon whether or not the fire is of an interior or exterior nature.
C. Interior Fires
Interior – Fires in interior workplaces pose a greater hazard to campus personnel. These fires can produce greater exposure to quantities of smoke, toxic gases, and heat because of the capability of a building or structure to contain or entrap these combustion products.
Upon discovery of any interior fire, the following procedures shall be followed:
1. Activate the building fire alarm if one exists.
2. If the building is not equipped with a fire alarm system, start a verbal alert to warn all personnel of the danger and to activate them to leave the building immediately. When you are evacuating from your area/building, you are to meet in your designated meeting place. These areas are located on the buildings Evacuation Maps. The Evacuation Maps are located in the buildings on every floor. If possible, without compromising safety, close all windows and doors in the vicinity of the fire.
3. From a telephone in a safe location, Dial 271-4911 (1-4911), and provide the Police Department Communication Specialist with the following information:
a. Your name, department name, current location and telephone number.
b. Location of the fire (building and room number).
c. Description of the fire (size, materials involved, how long it has been burning and what actions have been taken).
d. The extent of injuries, if appropriate.
e. If someone is trapped.
4. Even if properly trained in the use of fire extinguishers, before considering fighting an interior fire ask yourself these questions.
a. Can I escape quickly and safely from the area if I attempt to extinguish the fire? (The first priority for you and your buddy is safety.)
b. Do I have the right type of extinguisher?
c. Is the extinguisher large enough for the fire?
d. Is the area free from other dangers, such as hazardous materials and falling debris?
5. Never attempt to fight an interior fire if any of the following conditions exist:
a. If you answer NO to any of the above questions.
b. If the fire is spreading beyond the immediate area where it started, or is already a large fire.
c. If you are unsure of the proper operation of the fire extinguisher.
NOTE: If any of the above conditions exist, it is reckless to attempt to fight the fire with a portable extinguisher. Instead, leave the area immediately. If possible, without compromising safety, close all windows and doors in the immediate area of the fire.
6. If trapped in the building during a fire, do the following:
a. STAY CALM. DO NOT PANIC.
b. Keep all doors and windows closed.
c. Place an article of clothing inside or outside the window, if a window is available, as a marker for the emergency rescue crew. DO NOT LEAVE THE WINDOW OPEN.
d. Stuff objects, such as wet cloth towels, into openings to prevent smoke from entering the area.
e. Wet clothing if possible. Wrap wet clothing around face to minimize smoke inhalation. Fill sinks and tubs with water if possible to maintain a supply of water.
f. Keep your head no more than 8-12 inches off the floor where the air is less toxic.
g. Shout at regular intervals to alert emergency crews of your location.
h. Maintain contact with OUHSC PD by telephone as long as possible.
D. Exterior Fires:
1. Exterior – Work areas which are normally open to the environment are somewhat less hazardous because the products of combustion generally are carried away by the thermal column of the fire. Employees also have a greater selection of evacuation routes if it is necessary to abandon any ongoing employee firefighting actions.
Upon discovery of any exterior fire, the following procedures shall be followed:
1. If the fire posses a threat to any immediately adjacent structure, inform someone inside the building so that personnel can evacuate the building and go to their designated meeting area.
2. Call 271-4911 (1-4911) and provide the OUHSC Police Department Communication Specialist with the following information:
a. Your name, department name, current location and telephone number.
b. Location of the fire (building and room number).
c. Description of the fire (size, materials involved, how long it has been burning and what actions have been taken.
d. The extent of injuries, if appropriate.
e. If someone is trapped.
f. Automobile fires can be extremely hazardous due to the type of materials used for construction and the proximity of the fuel tank. Most automobiles contain synthetic materials which may produce cyanide and a host of other highly toxic gases when burned. Stay upwind at all times. Do not try to extinguisher the fire. Keep others clear of the area until emergency personnel have arrived on scene.
1. The OUHSC Fire Safety office will designate someone to review the area or building to ensure that it is safe to return. A representative from OU HSC Police Department will notify the Building Coordinators, Floor Representatives, when the building is safe to enter.
2. As building operations return to normal and building occupants return to their respective work areas, all individuals need to be aware of the following hazards that may exist:
a. broken glass and other sharp objects
b. electrical wires
c. tripping hazards
d. partial power to equipment
e. chemical hazards
4. Hazards should be reported to your supervisor and to OUHSC PD at 271-4911 (1-4911). Do not attempt to make any repairs or enter an area in which these hazards are present.
E. Coordinating with the Fire Department:
Stand well away from the building, driveways, roads, and fire hydrants. Arrival of fire trucks and other emergency responders can be hindered by you or your vehicle. When you evacuate the building you need go to the designated meeting place and will stay there until it is all clear. If you have specific knowledge of the fire (nature, location, or hazards) stay at your designated meeting place and tell your building coordinator, because you may be questioned.
F. Assembly of Evacuees:
The Fire Safety office will designate particular areas for all building occupants to meet during evacuation. Ideally, these areas should be indicated on the evacuation maps located in every building. The wind carrying smoke and toxic gases could affect those who have evacuated the building. In case of this situation the Incident Commander will designate a safer area. The assembly areas will be at least 300 feet from the affected building or area, and will have a building or garage in case of bad weather. The Building Coordinator should conduct a “roll-call” or similar action to ensure that everyone is clear of the building. The Building Coordinator should then report the results of the roll call to Police Personnel or Police Command. If a person cannot be accounted for, the Building Coordinator should immediately notify the nearest OUHSC Police Officer. He/She will in turn notify the Incident Commanded.
III. Portable Fire Extinguishers:
Portable fire extinguishers are designed to cope with fires of limited size. Fire extinguishers should be checked for use codes and used only on the type of fires for which the contents are specified. With the exception of the College of Pharmacy, and some computer labs, all portable fire extinguishers currently being utilized within OUHSC are of the dry chemical type ABC or “triple purpose”, and can be used on Class “A” through “C” user unique locations, i.e., Halon and FM200.
A. Classes and uses of Portable Fire Extinguishers:
1. Class A Fires: Ordinary combustibles such as paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and many plastics.
2. Class B Fires: Flammable liquids (e.g., oils, gasoline) and combustible liquids (e.g., charcoal lighter fluid, kerosene). These fuels burn only at the surface because oxygen cannot penetrate the depth of the fluid. Only the vapor burns when ignited.
3. Class C Fires: Energized electrical equipment (e.g., wiring, motors). (When the electricity is turned off, the fire becomes a class A fire.)
4. Class D Fires: Combustible metals (e.g., aluminum, magnesium, titanium).
5. Class K Fires: Kitchen, grease fires.
Extinguishers shall be conspicuously located where they shall be readily accessible, and immediately available in the event of a fire. They shall be located along normal routes of travel. Extinguishers must not be obstructed from view by furnishings, storage containers, etc.
Portable extinguishers shall be maintained in a fully charged and operable condition. Visual inspections is required to ensure that the extinguishers are in their designated places, have not been tampered with, or actuated, and are free from obvious physical damage, corrosion, or other impairments. Any extinguisher showing defects shall be removed from service and replaced with a fully serviceable unit. Fire Safety Coordinator shall maintain appropriate records of inspections through tagging of the extinguishers and other means found as appropriate. Additionally, the Fire Safety Coordinator will ensure an annual maintenance inspection is carried out, to include appropriate record updates. Fire extinguishers shall be recharged, or repaired, as necessary during this inspection to insure operability and safety. The Fire Safety Coordinator shall arrange for Hydrostatic testing of fire extinguishers as specified in 29CFR1910.157(e)(4), and shall maintain appropriate records of such testing. Unless otherwise indicated or required this inspection shall follow National Fire Protection Protection (NFPA) standard 10, maintained on file in the Office of Fire Safety.
Each extinguisher shall have a durable tag securely attached to show inspections, maintenance and/or recharge dates. This tag shall also include the date of inspection, and the initials or signature of the person who performs the service.
Anyone noting a portable fire extinguisher in a location, or any condition that may compromise its operation, should contact the Office of Fire Safety at 271-6964 (1-6964) or 271-6963 (1-6963).
IV. Fire Alarm, Sprinkler, and Standpipe systems:
The Bio-Medical Repair Shop, under control of the Director of Operations and Site Support is responsible for the scheduling of required routine maintenance for all buildings which have fire alarms. Director of Operations and Site Support is responsible for scheduling a routine maintenance for all buildings which have sprinkler, and standpipe systems. This service is conducted in accordance with the various applicable National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards. The Bio-Medical Repair Shop shall maintain appropriate records of such inspections.
V. Flammable and Combustible Liquids:
Dew32A flammable liquid means any liquid having a flash point below 100 degrees F.
A Combustible Liquid means any liquid having a flash point at or above 100 degrees F.
C. Sources of Ignition:
In locations where flammable vapors may be present, precautions shall be taken to prevent ignition by eliminating or controlling sources of ignition. All electrical equipment and wiring shall be in accordance with the appropriate National Electrical Code (NEC), and any OSHA Standards that may apply. Flammable liquids shall not be dispensed unless the nozzle and container are appropriately grounded to prevent ignition from static electricity. Only hot water, steam, or electric mantles heating are allowed. Open flames are not permitted in flammable or combustible storage areas.
D. Storage and Use of Flammable Liquids:
Flammable liquids required in small quantities for frequent use shall be stored in approved containers, in a metal cabinet, or closet, ventilated to the outside where practical. All containers used for storage, issue, and transport of flammable liquids shall be clearly marked as to their contents in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association Standard (NFPA) 704. Flammable liquids shall not be used for cleaning floors, clothing, or equipment.
VI. Safe Practices:
The easiest fire to extinguish is the one that never starts. Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Unsafe practices shall not be tolerated, and if repeated, or if they should result in death, injury, or property damage, could be considered an offense against University Policy and Procedures, as well as State and local rules and regulations. The following safe practices are only common sense, yet they are often forgotten or ignored.
A. Flammable and Combustibles including data sheets, books, rags, clothing, flammable liquids (solvents, thinners, cleaners, gases), or rubbish shall not be placed or stored near heaters, and electrical appliances, (i.e., copy machines), or other potential sources of ignition.
B. Sources of actual or potential heat such as portable space heaters, hot plates, electric coffee pots, and welding or cutting apparatus will not be placed near flammable or combustible materials.
C. Care must be taken not to block potential escape routes.
D. Any gasoline, kerosene or cleaning solvents which must be stored inside, must be stored in an approved container and have the appropriate NFPA 704 markings readily visible. All portable storage cans must conform with 29CFR1910.1200(d), and any other applicable regulations.
E. NFPA code 11.1.5 states, Extension Cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring. 220.127.116.11.1 Extension cords shall be plugged directly into an approved receptacle, power tap, or multiplug adapter and shall, except for approved multiplug extension cords, serve only one portable appliance. 18.104.22.168.2 The ampacity of the extension cords shall not be less than the rated capacity of the portable appliance supplied by the cord. 22.214.171.124.3 The extension cords shall be maintained in good condition without splices, deterioration, or damage. 126.96.36.199.4 Extension cords shall be grounded when servicing grounded portable appliances. 188.8.131.52.5 Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be affixed to structures; extend through walls, ceilings, or floors, or under doors or floor coverings; or be subject to environmental or physical damage.
F. Particular care must be taken at any construction/repair site, or shop area so as to avoid an accumulation of debris.
G. All University of Oklahoma employees performing hot work procedures must follow the University’s hot work program.
VII. Emergency Procedures:
Every Building Coordinators and Floor Representatives should ensure that all persons in their respective building know how to get out of the building in the event of a fire or other emergency. An orderly evacuation depends on both an early and effective warning system, and an individual awareness of the proper procedures to follow. Building Coordinators and Floor Representatives should include a discussion of procedures to be followed during a briefing and orientation of new employees.
The person in charge of each work area should establish procedures to be followed regarding the evacuation of buildings in emergencies. Building Coordinators and Floor Representatives must be able to account for all persons reporting to them or known to have been in the area at the time of evacuation. Pre-determined assembly points have already been established at a safe distance normally at 300 feet from any structure for personnel accounting (See Building Evacuation Map).
Due to the number of occupied buildings, their widespread locations, and diverse operations, it is not practical nor safely feasible to develop or manage each unique evacuation plan from a central office. Each building shall designate a primary and secondary Building Coordinator to ensure the contents of this plan are carried out and to develop any site specific sub-plans. In every building with multiple floors, it is recommended that a Floor Representative be established to assist the Building Coordinator.
The Fire Safety Coordinator has already established a specific building plan.
IX. Fire Exits:
Any swinging fire door and any door in any stairwell designed to prevent the spread of fire shall be provided with positive latching mechanisms to hold it in the closed position against the pressure of expanding fire gases. Fire doors shall not be secured in the open position at any time, unless configured with a magnetic release mechanism that will release the magnet when the fire alarm system is sounded.
Under no circumstances should elevators be used in the event of a fire. Every individual at OUHSC is responsible to ensure he or she is familiar with all available fire exits.
X. Smoke Detectors and Heat Sensors:
Smoke detectors have been installed in most all OUHSC Campus buildings with central alarm systems. The detectors are tied into a control panel which will automatically activate the fire alarm system and alert the OUHSC PD Communication Specialist.
Regardless of the building, all the OUHSC smoke detectors are smoke ionization type detectors commonly found in home use. An ionization smoke detector has a small amount of radioactive material that ionizes air in the sensing change, allowing an electrical current to flow which in turn activates the alarm mechanism.
Bio-Medical Repair Shop staff shall make a visual inspection of all smoke detectors at least semi-annually to identify missing detectors, detectors with impeded smoke entry, abnormally dirty detectors, and detectors no longer suitably located because of occupancy or structural changes. An annual test shall be performed with a suitable smoke or aerosol which shall activate the detector to ensure it is operating correctly. The staff of the Bio-Medical Repair Shop shall maintain an appropriate record of the inspections and tests.
XI. Fire Drills:
Experience has demonstrated that it generally is not feasible to hold formal fire drills at OUHSC. The consequences of interrupting ongoing experiments and the problems associated with the emergency or rapid shut down of sophisticated equipment are severe. Nevertheless, it is necessary that all persons on campus be aware of and reminded of the procedures to follow should there be a fire. All persons should remember that personal safety is more important than the experiment. Should a fire alarm sound, the situation should be treated as a true emergency in which data and equipment might have to be lost in order to assure personal safety. Building Coordinator and Floor Representatives should review the contents of this document and the procedures to be followed in the event of a fire or other potentially life threatening emergency on at least an annual basis with all persons in their building.
XII. Fire Hazards, General:
Within the diverse collection of facilities and projects at OUHSC there are multiple potential fire hazards. The preceding text indicated several specific hazards and the practices that should be used to minimize them. Many solvents used in laboratory procedures are flammable or combustible and must be used with care. Electrical equipment can become dangerously hot if the vent systems are blocked. Common work practices such as welding use, open flame. Other common procedures produce sparks. It is impossible to list every potential fire hazard. What is possible is for every person at OUHSC to be aware of his or her environment and work to minimize all hazards, including doing what is takes to correct the problem or at least bring it to the attention of the Fire Safety Office.
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Policy forbids smoking in all areas and in all buildings. With this policy in place OUHSC is of significant benefit in reducing fire hazards.
XIII. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 704 Symbols:
NFPA 704 is a simple system of symbols and numbers that indicate the severity of the health, flammability, reactivity (instability), and other hazards of a substance or place. The NFPA 704 diamonds consists of 4 separate, color-coded fields. In 3 fields, the relative hazard is indicated by a number from 0 (relatively benign) to 4 (very dangerous). The text of the NFPA 704 standard presents specific definitions for each number value for each type of hazard. Similarly, there are published listings with the NFPA 704 values for many substances available from the Environmental Health and Safety Office, 271-3000 (1-3000).
The Blue Field: is for health hazard of the substance within the labeled container or space when exposed to fire or spilled.
The Red Field: is for the Flammability of the substance within the labeled container or space.
The Yellow Field: is for the reactivity of the substance within the labeled container or space.
The White Field: is for special hazards such as materials that demonstrate unusual reactivity with water.
When a container or space contains multiple substances, the level of hazard indicated in each field is the highest for that field of any substance within the container or space.
On many Campus buildings, the NFPA 704 diamonds are displayed on the exterior doors.