Fire Prevention

The safety of our students, employees and visitors is paramount to the University.  As such there are several methods used to minimize the possibility of fire in the buildings on campus and the activities performed, from student activities in laboratories, to maintenance activities to public events.

Fill out the Fire Extinguisher Hands-on Demonstration Training Form.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Know Your Limits

In the hands of a properly trained person, a fire extinguisher can save lives and protect property. Extinguishers are designed to extinguish or contain small fires. However, even against small fires, they have limits.

  • The extinguisher must be of the proper class. Most are ABC Class, but always check the label.
  • Must be large enough. Most extinguishers discharge in 30 seconds.
  • The extinguisher must be operable and within reach.
  • The operator must know how to use the extinguisher.

Classes of Fire

The extinguisher you use must be matched to the type of material that is burning. Most are ABC Class, but not all.

Materials fall into three basic classes:

  • Type A: Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics.
  • Type B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint, lacquer, and flammable gas.
  • Type C: Energized electrical equipment including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances.
  • Type K: Kitchen fires.

You must match the correct class of extinguisher with the type of material burning. Using the wrong extinguisher is dangerous and can make the fire worse. Know the type of extinguisher nearest your room or work location.

Fight or Flight?

Before you use an extinguisher:

  • Make sure the fire alarm has been activated.
  • Know how to properly use the extinguisher. All extinguishers have labels with operational instructions.
  • Be sure someone has called 9-1-1.
  • Be sure to use the proper type of extinguisher.
  • Keep your back to a safe exit.
  • Remember: safety first!
  • If in doubt, close the door and leave!

P.A.S.S. the Test

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim low, point the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle, this releases the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep from side to side, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until it appears to be out. Watch the fire area. If fire breaks out again, repeat the process with a new, fully charged fire extinguisher.

In Case Of Fire

If a fire occurs, your actions can make the difference between a minor fire and a disaster.

  • Close the door to the fire area.
  • Activate the fire alarm system.
  • Call 9-1-1 and report the fire.
  • Evacuate from the building. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.
  • Stay low in smoke (crawl).
  • Use the extinguisher only if your are trained to do so.

Familiarize yourself with the locations of nearby extinguishers and make sure they are unobstructed. Report discharged, damaged, or missing extinguishers to Environmental Health and Safety at (828) 251-3068 or complete a Campus Operations "Report a problem" form. EHS staff also conducts hands-on fire extinguisher training, to schedule, contact (828) 251-6038.

Fire Alarm Response

Available soon.

Hot Work

Purpose

To provide written procedures to prevent the outbreak of fire, fire alarm activations, and smoke and odor migration in buildings resulting from any temporary operation involving the use of open flames or which produces heat and / or sparks. This includes, but is not limited to: brazing, cutting, grinding, torch soldering, thawing pipes, torch applied roofing and welding.

Application

This procedure applies to work performed by any University employee, student and contractors performing work in existing buildings, new construction in existing buildings or new construction attached to existing buildings.

This procedure does not apply to new construction where there is no attachment to existing buildings or to areas that are specifically designed and equipped for such operations, i.e. maintenance shop areas and designated welding areas.

Definitions

Hot Work - Any operation producing flame, sparks or heat including cutting, welding, brazing, grinding, sawing, torch soldering, thawing frozen pipes, applying roof covering etc.

Permit - A special permit, which authorizes “Hot Work” activities at a specific location and time. The permit (print only version) which is available from the Environmental Health and Safety or the EHS Website, https://ehs.unca.edu/environmental-health-and-safety-forms, must be properly filled out, displayed on site and returned to the supervisor when the hot work is complete. Permits contain a checklist to be completed prior to commencing hot work activities and also at the conclusion of the hot work.

Fire Watch - A trained individual stationed in the hot work area who monitors the work area for the beginnings of potential, unwanted fires both during and after hot work. Individuals must be trained and familiar with the operation of portable fire extinguishers and methods to activate building fire alarm systems.

Responsibilities

Management

It is the responsibility of management to insure that this procedure is implemented in those areas under their jurisdiction where applicable.

Supervisors

  • Be thoroughly familiar with the Hot Work procedures
  • Identify employees who may perform hot work as defined in this procedure
  • Provide Hot Work training to employees who perform Hot Work operations
  • Maintain records of employee training
  • Provide Hot Work Permits
  • Collect and complete Hot Work Permits and send to Environmental Health and Safety
  • Ensure compliance with procedures by employees
  • Complete EHS training program

Employees

  • Be thoroughly familiar with Hot Work procedures
  • Follow all Hot Work procedures
  • Complete Hot Work Permits
  • Complete EHS training program

Environmental Health and Safety

  • Develop written Hot Work procedure and revise the procedure as necessary
  • Provide Hot Work procedure training program for supervisors and employees
  • Periodically audit operations, documentation and training

Procedure

1. Hot work should not be performed if the work can be avoided or performed in a safer manner. When practical, objects to be welded, cut or heated should be moved to a designated safe location (e.g. maintenance shops) if possible.

2.  If hot work must be performed, a Hot Work Permit must be completed.

3. All precautions on the Hot Work Permit must be met prior to any work commencing. The supervisor or the employee performing the hot work will complete the permit.

4. The Hot Work Permit is only good for the date specified on the permit.

5. A Hot Work Permit must be displayed at the work site during all hot work activities.

6. All building occupants must be suitably protected against hazards generated by the work (e.g. heat, sparks, fumes, welding rays, etc).

7. Before hot work begins:

  • An appropriate fire extinguisher must be available and operable.
  • Flammable and ignitable materials and debris must be moved at least 35 feet from the hot work area or covered and protected from the hot work by fire resistant material.
  • Explosives, compressed gas cylinders or stored fuel must be moved at least 50 feet from the hot work area or covered and protected from the hot work by fire resistant material.
  • Smoke and fire detectors in the immediate area of the hot work must be temporarily disabled until the hot work is completed.
  • Adequate ventilation is being used (especially when cutting or welding materials with painted or metal coated surfaces).
  • Building occupants have been protected or isolated from the hot work area.
  • Cracks or holes in floors, walls, and ceilings (including ductwork) are properly covered or plugged.
  • Hot work equipment is operable and in good repair.
  • Drums, barrels and tanks have been cleaned and purged of flammables and toxics, all tank feeds are closed, and the tank vented.
  • A fire watch is implemented if conditions warrant (e.g., fire hazards or combustible exposures are present).
  • Workers and Fire Watch personnel are trained in the use of fire extinguishing equipment and how to sound a fire alarm.

8. When hot work is complete:

  • The work area and any potentially affected surrounding areas are inspected for fire, fire damage or the potential for fire for a minimum of 30 minutes following completion of the hot work.
  • Smoke / fire alarms that were disabled because of hot work are reactivated.
  • Hot work permit is closed out.
  • Completed permit is returned to the supervisor who then submits the completed permit to the Environmental Health and Safety.

References

  • FM Global - Factory Mutual Insurance Company “Hot Work Guidelines”
  • National Fire Protection Association Standard 51B “Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting and Other Hot Work”
  • International Fire Code 2016 Edition Chapter 26 “Welding and Other Hot Work”
  • OSHA Regulations 29 CFR 1926.352 “Welding and Cutting”

Recreational Fires and Bonfires Guidelines

These guidelines must be followed when a individual, group or department plans to have a fire on any University property.

Definitions

Recreational Fire - Is a fire completely enclosed in a commercially manufactured outdoor fire pit appliance.

Bonfire - Is a fire that is not enclosed in a commercially manufactured outdoor fire pit appliance. A bonfire is limited to special events such as pep rallies, homecoming or other University sanctioned event.

Recreational Fires

1. Environmental Health & Safety must be notified at least 48 hours in advance via the on-line submittal of a Fire Permit Application.

2. Staff, students, and student groups must use the on-line Fire Permit Application form for all recreational fires.

3. The fuel for the fire should be clean and untreated wood. The fire shall not be ignited with flammable liquids.

4.  A commercially manufactured outdoor fire pit appliance will be used or the rock-built fire pit used for fires in Mullen Park.

5. The fire pit appliance should have a screen which controls the emission of ash and embers.

6. The fire pit appliance should be at least 50 feet from any combustible materials.

7. The fire shall be constantly attended. The fire shall be extinguished when it is not attended. The fire should be extinguished with a water-based fire extinguisher or commercially available sand. Smoldering embers shall not be disposed of in a trash receptacle or dumpster.

8. The fire shall not constitute a nuisance (excessive smoke, odors).

9. All instructions from the manufacturer of the fire pit appliance shall be followed.

10. No open burning shall occur if, in the discretion of University Police or Emergency Management, said burning represents a danger to the public, health and safety of University staff or students, or damage to property. NOTE: If Buncombe County issues a "No Burn Alert", the fire permit will be cancelled.

Bonfires

1.   Environmental Health & Safety must be notified at least 48 hours in advance via the on-line submittal of a Fire Permit Application.

2.   Staff, students, and student groups must use the on-line Fire Permit Application form for all recreational bonfires.

3.   A bonfire should not be allowed to continue past midnight unless special arrangements have been made with University Police or Emergency Management.

4.   The location for any open burning shall be at least 100 feet from any structure and a barrier erected, reasonbly positioned, to prevent contact with flames or falling debris.

5.   Suitable provisions, such as wetting the ground, clearing the area, removing debris/materials, etc. must be completed to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure.

6.   Bonfires may not be utilized to dispose of waste material.

7.   All bonfires must constantly attended by a fire watch until the fire is extinguished.

8.   A bonfire must not be more than 5 feet wide by 5 feet long by 10 feet in heigth and shall not burn longer than (3) hours.

9.   Fuel for the bonfire may consist only of dry firewood.  The fire will not be ignited with flammable liquids.

10. The coodinator of the event (Fire Permit applicant) will notifiy Emergency Management on the day of the bonfire and EM will notify the the Asheville Fire Department.

11. The Asheville Fire Department will be requested to put the fire out when the bonfire ceremony is over.

Fire Watch

Available soon.

Key Measurables

Fire Prevention Key Performance Indicators.

Fire Drill Exercises

Classrooms & Offices Fire Drill Schedule 11/05/2018 @ 3:10 PM

Building BEC Date Time Status
Belk Theater Morris 09/11/2018 8:30 AM Completed
Brown Hall   Not scheduled    
Carmichael Hall   Not scheduled    
Highsmith Union Breen 11/01/2018 10:30 AM Completed
Humanities Lecture Hall   Not scheduled    
Justice Center Gym Ledbetter Scheduling    
Karpen Hall   Not scheduled    
Lipinski Hall Miller Not scheduled    
Millar Facilities Complex Elliott 10/25/2018 2:00 PM Completed
Owen Hall   Not scheduled    
Phillips Hall   Not scheduled    
Ramsey Library Director 10/12/2018 4:00 PM Completed
Reuter Center Director 11/06/2018 3:15 PM Completed
Roades Robinson Hall   Not scheduled    
Sherrill Center/Kimmel Arena Ledbetter Scheduling    
Student Recreation Center Motch-Ellis Scheduling    
Vance Hall   Not scheduled    
Weizenblatt Hall Kauer 09/14/2018 3:00 PM Completed
Whitesides Hall   Not scheduled    
WT Weaver Riddick Scheduling    
Zageir Hall Cooper 09/14/2018 4:00 PM Completed
Zeis Hall Heying 10/08/2018 2:00 PM Completed

Resident Housing Fire Drill Schedule 11/05/2018 @ 3:10 PM

Building BEC Date Time Status
Ashe Hall Whisenton 10/01/2018 2:00 PM Completed
Aspen Hall Adams Not scheduled    
Beech Hall Adams 09/12/2018 4:39 PM Completed
Cedar Hall Adams 09/11/2018 7:20 PM Completed
Chestnut Hall Adams     New Construction
Founders Hall Walker 10/01/2018 11:00 AM Completed
Gardner Hall Whisenton 10/01/2018 2:00 PM Completed
Governor's Hall Whisenton 10/01/2018 2:00 PM Completed
Hoey Hall Whisenton 10/01/2018 2:00 PM Completed
Magnolia Hall Adams 09/18/2018 11:32 AM Completed
Mills Hall Wilkerson 10/02/2018 1:30 PM Completed
Moore Hall Whisenton 10/01/2018 2:00 PM Completed
Ponder Hall Alpaugh 10/03/2018 1:00 PM Completed
Scott Hall Whisenton 10/01/2018 2:00 PM Completed
South Ridge Hall Tavarez 10/01/2018 10:30 AM Completed
West Ridge Hall Tavarez 10/01/2018 10:00 AM Completed
Willow Hall Adams Not scheduled