Why Use A Safety Can For Gasoline? Gasoline is an extremely flammable liquid fuel. It should always be handled and stored properly in order to reduce the likelihood of fires and explosions. Personal injuries ranging from first-degree burns to fatalities can result from improper handling and storage practices. Safety cans are designed to control the flammable vapors of gasoline and to provide a safe and convenient means for storage and transfer. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved safety cans should be used to carry, dispense, and store gasoline in quantities up to five gallons. Failure to use approved metal containers for flammable or combustible...

Spontaneous Ignition Many people do not believe it can happen. For no apparent reason, fire erupts, usually during off-hours. It does happen. It's called spontaneous ignition, and preventing it is part of your job. Spontaneous ignition occurs when a combustible object is heated to its ignition temperature by a chemical reaction involving the oxygen in the air around us. This "oxidation" process creates heat that, if not dissipated, will build up until ignition occurs. Generally, this can happen when the materials are left in piles and the heat being generated in the pile cannot be released into the air. A number of materials...

Smoke Detectors - A Life Saving Warning Smoke detectors save lives every day. These small but effective devices are a vital fire safety early warning system, in both the workplace and the home. While it is critical to have smoke detectors installed both at home and at work, it is three times more important to have smoke detectors operating in the home. Why? Because each year, more than three-quarters of the 4,500 fire-related deaths occur in the home. And tragically, children under five years of age die at twice the rate of all others. The majority of fatal fires in the home...

Computer Room Safe Work Practices Working in computer rooms can involve special fire protection issues; electrical, ventilation, security, and work practice issues also apply. Computer rooms (or “data centers”) have an increased risk of fire, because of the electrical energy used to run the machines, the heat generated by computing processes, and the air movement used to dissipate heat (air movement can feed a fire with oxygen, can cause rapid spread of a fire, and can dissipate smoke, making detection more difficult). Also, conventional smoke detectors cannot detect low concentrations of smoke, so some computer rooms have high sensitivity smoke detectors to...

Welding On Galvanized Metals One of the most significant health hazards in the welding process is the generation of fumes and gasses. Do you weld on galvanized metals? Zinc is the coating used on galvanized metals, and when you heat the metal, it produces vaporized metal droplets which are called fumes. This is the smoky haze which consists of fine particles of metals or silicates. When you breathe these fumes, they may work deeply into your lungs. The typical effect of breathing zinc fumes is metal fume fever. One or two hours or more after welding-without proper personal protection-you may experience severe...

Using Portable Fire Extinguishers In the event of a fire, the correct use of a portable fire extinguisher could mean the difference between suffering a minor loss or a major one. Portable fire extinguishers, if used properly, can make that difference. But there are several things to consider in using fire extinguishers. For instance, you must know the class of fire involved and the correct type of fire extinguisher to use. CLASSES OF FIRES AND FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: Class A Involves ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth, rubber or plastics. The common extinguishing media is water or dry chemical. Class B Flammable liquids, grease...

Foundry Worker Safety Foundries are a source of many hazards. There is a hot work environment and the potential for burns or fires around furnaces and crucibles.  Molten metals create fumes.  Sand molding materials can create silica dust.  Chipping, sandblasting, and grinding creates dust.  Conveyors, crushers, and stamping machines pose a caught/crush hazard. This combined activity creates a noisy atmosphere.  Workers need proper work techniques, adequate ventilation, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to stay safe. PPE protects you from the foundry environment. Wear leather shoes, gloves, and safety glasses with a side shield.  A hat with a brim protects you from spatters....

Handling Powder Actuated Tools (PATs) Safely A powder-actuated tool (PAT) is a tool that gets its power from an explosive charge. The tool uses the expanding gas from the explosion to drive a fastener into materials such as masonry, concrete, steel, and other hard surfaces. Only trained, competent, and authorized persons are permitted to operate a powder-actuated tool (also known as explosive-actuated tools). The training should be in accordance with the specific tool manufacturer’s criteria. A card verifying training should be issued to the authorized person after training is completed. Unauthorized or improper use of a powder-actuated tool could result in...

Dust Explosions When combustible or non-combustible materials are broken down into fine dusts or powders, they create a fire and explosion hazard affecting many operations and materials: sugar, flour, animal feed, plastics, paper, wood, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, paints and resins, dyes, coal, and metals. To prevent fires from dust explosions, control the “dust explosion pentagon.” This includes the traditional fire triangle: fuel, heat, and oxygen along with a dust cloud and enclosed space. Keep dust levels (fuel) in the workplace to a minimum with dust control and housekeeping. Control flame and ignition sources (heat) such as pilot lights, open flames,...

Arc Welding Safety Arc welders use a powerful electric arc to make and repair plain, coated, or treated metal items. Welders can be stationary, electric powered or portable, diesel/gas powered. Install electric-powered arc welders to code. Ground equipment and place it on an independent circuit with the correct-sized fuse or circuit breaker. Overloading circuits or improper installation can lead to fire, a ground fault, or equipment failure. Mount a safety disconnect switch near the user work area. Operate diesel/gas powered arc welders in well-ventilated areas to control combustion fumes. Do not add fuel to the engine while it is running or near...