Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 13:46:06 -0700
Reply-To: "Debbie M. Decker" <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Debbie M. Decker" <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Extinguishers
In-Reply-To: <62CF6C9F10C1D44DA44CCC3EE395B53F0103B32048**At_Symbol_Here**>

Fire extinguishers are a requirement of the fire code and your authority ha
ving jurisdiction.  It's not osha's call (nor the lab manager or the chemic
al hygiene officer), whether or not there are fire extinguishers in the lab

Training is important, of course.  But as I tell students in my lab safety 
training, if there's a fire and you feel a need to grab a fire extinguisher
, clutch it to your chest, pull the fire alarm, and exit the building, clos
ing the door behind you.  Let the fire fighters do what they're well-traine
d to do.  Our fire department has just started offering fire extinguisher t
raining again, after a hiatus of over a decade.

Your mileage may vary and you should insert a disclaimer here.

Debbie M. Decker, Campus Chemical Safety Officer
Environmental Health and Safety
University of California, Davis
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA  95616
(530)754-7964/(530)752-4527 (FAX)
Co-Conspirator to Make the World A 
Better Place -- Visit and join the conspiracy

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Na
il, John
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:07 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Extinguishers

In regards to the local fire department removing extinguishers from the lab

My understanding is that the OSHA Lab Standard can be summarized as 'follow
 Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, (National Research Council (1995))' a
nd note that Prudent Practices lists fire extinguishers on 9 different page
s;  Section 6.F.2.3.1 is titled  "Fire Extinguishers".

It is reasonable to conclude from the above that, as per OSHA, it is mandat
ory to have fire extinguishers in the labs.

Section 5.C.11 (page 86) requires that all laboratory personnel should know
 what to do in case of an emergency, including clothing fires. As shown by 
airliner disasters, there is a significant difference between telling peopl
e what to do in case of an emergency and training them in emergency respons

In regards to extinguisher training- a suggestion - every calendar quarter,
 set some paper in a metal barrel on fire and have 'untrained' lab workers 
take turns putting out the fire.

The fire department's removing the extinguishers is a bad decision. 

Personally, I would not let students use flammable materials or Bunsen burn
ers in a lab that did not have extinguishers. If there were no extinguisher
s in the lab, I would either bring my own or find a job elsewhere.

John Nail
Professor of Chemistry
Oklahoma City University

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