From: Ralph Stuart <rstuartcih**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Fire extinguisher use in chem labs by instructors
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2015 08:30:12 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: D4136D4B-9D90-4AC0-B1EB-0A91650D1C97**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <891834E3-7FAF-49F7-BBDC-DB362393E904**At_Symbol_Here**>

> > But they MUST be trained to make that fight or flight decision

In my experience, this is the big challenge. Most fire extinguisher training I have seen is a review of P.A.S.S. and perhaps a hands on chance to try it out. This misses out on the factors Rob enumerates on his web site about when to use the extinguisher. We had a grease fire in a dorm kitchen last semester and the student involved couldn?t remember if the fire extinguisher available was water or dry chemical based, so she abandoned the situation and called the fire department. This was the correct decision, but some of the feedback she received suggested that she had mishandled the situation by not using the extinguisher.

Given the diversity of skills of the employee population in a lab setting, developing and maintaining the ability to make the fight or flight decision is a safety culture challenge rather than a training challenge. The CSB videos on research and teaching lab fires provide interesting examples of this.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH

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