Fire Safety Procedures and Responsibilities

Institute employees must be familiar with the location and operation of fire extinguishers and emergency equipment at their place of work. In case of fire or suspicion of a fire (e.g. smoke alarm), the response depends on the distance from the fire and the official instructions. If you are close to the fire, try to assess the level of danger and, if possible: assist others in locating and/or extinguishing the fire, call for help (extension 2999) or evacuate the premises (see below for “Emergency Response to Fire or Explosion”). It is prohibited to congregate near areas where a fire breaks out.

If a fire breaks out near containers for flammable, toxic or oxidizing gases, the containers should be closed immediately. Try to remove any containers liable to be affected by the heat of the fire, especially if they contain flammable, toxic or oxidizing gases.

If hazardous materials are involved in the fire – radioactive, biological or chemical – don’t try to extinguish the fire yourself. Contact the emergency hotline and evacuate the building.

When reporting a fire or fire suspicion to the emergency hotline, please provide the location of the incident, building, floor and room. In addition, the contact information of the individual reporting the incident must be provided (including phone numbers - mobile and land line).

Fire Prevention Rules for Labs

Chemical materials liable to cause a laboratory fire include: solids from the alkali metal family, fine metallic powders (aluminum, magnesium etc.), metallic hydrates and alkalis, and phosphorous and its derivatives. Fires of these materials must be extinguished using a dry powder fire extinguisher for metals (yellow colored extinguisher).

must be stored in suitable, labeled containers, and in well-ventilated locations that are also fire-proof, where possible. Please consult the Safety team regarding the safety of shipping, carrying and storing chemicals to minimize fire hazards. Keep flammable materials away from fire sources and space heaters, and store solvents in the designated areas.

When using gas lighters, keep them far away from flammable materials and close the valve of the container. When using a water bath for heating, keep the level of water constant.

Guidelines for Authorization to Work with Open Fire (December 2013)

General

Work with open fire (or ‘hot work’ at the Institute, indoors or outdoors) may not be conducted by external contractors or Institute employees without authorization from the Institute Safety branch. ‘Open fire’ or ‘hot work’ includes work connected to creating heat and sparks, such as: welding, cutting, soldering, work with a disk saw, PVC soldering, and tarring.

Note: In addition, detectors should be deactivated when conducting construction work such as demolition, drilling, painting and spraying, etc.

Authorization Procedure for Work with Open Fire

  1. A supervisor from the construction department (or another responsible figure on behalf of the Institute) wishing to conduct work with open fire must contact the Safety Branch.
    • Disconnecting smoke detectors where necessary
    • Necessary fire-extinguishing measures
    • Individual protective gear required
    • General guidelines

      ** The building supervisor will be updated about the work and authorize the work and the worker’s entry to the building.
       

  2. If the work is high-risk, the safety director will tour the site a second time to make sure the safety regime is maintained.
  3. In any case of ‘hot work’, the individual commissioning the work will supervise the work completely.