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Competencies covered

MSMWHS200: Work safely

MSFFL3002: Establish and maintain a safe flooring technology work environment

TLID2003: Handle dangerous goods/hazardous substances

On-site fires

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Combustible and flammable materials are present everywhere. They include:

  • board products used for underlay

  • floor covering materials

  • timber and sawdust

  • cardboard and paper

  • plastics

  • furniture

  • solvents, glues and other chemicals.
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There will also be various 'ignition sources' that may set these fuels alight under the right conditions, such as:

  • electrical sparks from loose wiring or faulty machinery

  • sparks from welding or grinding activities

  • naked flames from matches or cigarette lighters

  • smouldering cigarette butts.
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The two most important prevention measures you can take to avoid the possibility of a fire are:

  • maintain good housekeeping

  • keep potential ignition sources away from flammable and combustible materials.

This means that you should always try to keep the workplace clean, especially at the end of the day before you knock off, and always make sure that any activities that may cause sparks or flames are carried out well away from areas that contain combustible materials.

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Fire fighting equipment

Fire extinguishers and hose reels are the most common equipment kept to fight fires on-site. Fire extinguishers are colour coded and labelled according to their contents.

It's very important to match the correct extinguisher to the type or class of fire. The contents of some extinguishers may be unsuitable, or even dangerous, if used on the wrong type of fire. The links below show the different classes of fire and the range of fire extinguishers used to combat these fires.

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How to use fire fighting equipment

The links below will take you to some basic instructions on how to use fire extinguishers, hose reels and fire blankets. For details on the specific pieces of equipment at your own workplace, make sure you refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

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Learning activity

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List the types of fire fighting equipment you have access to in your workplace or on-site (including in your vehicle).

Are there any types of fire you're not properly prepared for? If so, what are they, and what could you do to better prepare yourself.

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