Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Safety Policies and Procedures Manual

FIRE SAFETY
8.22
Revised 4-21

For more information contact:
   Facilities Services, Operations
   509-335-9000
   WSU Fire and Safety Compliance Officer
   509-335-8548
   Emergency
   911

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Fire Extinguishers

Availability

WSU campus facilities services or EH&S departments, as applicable, and colleges, departments, and areas provide fire extinguishers to put out small fires on University property. Do not attempt to put out a large fire exceeding four feet in height with a fire extinguisher (see SPPM 8.20). Call 911 and report all fires impacting University property to the local fire department.

Ratings of Fire Extinguishers and Fires

Look on the front of a fire extinguisher to determine what sort of fire the extinguisher will put out. Usually, extinguishers are labeled with the letters A, B, C, D. or K, or a combination of these letters. Each letter signifies a class of fires the extinguisher will suppress. Extinguishers labeled with multiple letters will put all of the types of fires indicated.

An extinguisher marked ABC will put out fires involving ordinary combustibles (e.g., paper and wood), flammable liquids, and electrical equipment.

IMPORTANT: Do not use an inappropriate extinguisher on a given fire. Such a practice can make the fire worse and/or cause injury to the user. A common error is the use of a water extinguisher (A) on a grease or electrical fire (B or C).

The higher the numerical classification rating on the extinguisher, the more fire it will put out.

A: Ordinary Combustibles

Fires in paper, wood, drapes, and upholstery require an extinguisher labeled A.

B: Flammable Liquids

Fires in fuel oil, gasoline, paint, grease in a frying pan, solvents, and other flammable liquids require an extinguisher labeled B.

C: Electrical Equipment

Fires started in wiring, overheated fuse boxes, conductors, and other electrical sources require an extinguisher labeled C.

D: Metals

Certain metals, such as magnesium and sodium, require special dry powder extinguishants labeled D.

K: Cooking Oil or Fat

Fires in commercial cooking operations, such as deep fat fryers, are more efficiently put out with a special class K “kitchen” fire extinguisher than with a class B or with a combination ABC dry chemical extinguisher.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

To operate most fire extinguishers, perform the following steps (PASS: Pull/Aim/Squeeze/Sweep):

1. Pull the pin. Some units require the releasing of a lock latch, pushing a puncture lever, inverting or other motion.

2. Aim the extinguisher nozzle (horn, or hose) at the base of the fire.

3. Squeeze or press the handle.

4. Starting at the distance recommended on the fire extinguisher, sweep the nozzle or hose from side to side until the fire is out. Move forward or around the fire area as the fire diminishes. Watch the area in case of reignition.

Although the above instructions apply to most extinguishers, there are exceptions, e.g., foam and water extinguishers require slightly different actions. Read the instructions on all extinguishers in or near the work area.

Before attempting to fight an electrical fire, turn off the power to the involved electrical device. Turn off the circuit breaker or switch, or unplug the device if this can be done without risking electrical shock or burns.

Training

All employees must receive fire extinguisher training, unless the written college, department, or area emergency action plan authorizes certain employees to use fire extinguishers and requires all others to evacuate. (See SPPM 2.18). Employees may not obtain enough information from reading the labeled instructions on the fire extinguishers to properly use the extinguishers in an emergency.

Employees may attend live fire extinguisher training (see Pullman Locations or Non-Pullman Locations below) or complete the online Portable Fire Extinguisher Training course available at the HRS Training website.

Pullman Locations

The WSU Fire and Safety Compliance Officer arranges training in the proper use of fire extinguishers upon request. Departments contact the WSU Fire and Safety Compliance Officer to schedule training sessions; telephone 509-335-8548.

Non-Pullman Locations

Contact the applicable campus facilities or EH&S department to schedule training sessions:

  • WSU Spokane: WSUS EH&S; telephone 509-368-6699
      
  • WSU Tri-Cities: WSUTC EH&S: telephone 509-372-7163
      
  • WSU Vancouver: WSUV EH&S; telephone 360-546-9706
      
  • WSU Everett: WSUE Facilities; telephone 425-405-1566

Requesting a Fire Extinguisher

Equipment changes, vehicular needs, changes in workplace hazards, or remodeling may result in a need for additional fire extinguishers.

Pullman Locations
Submitting Requests

Pullman campus departments submit requests for fire extinguishers through myFacilities.

Upon receipt of the myFacilities request, the WSU Fire and Safety Compliance Officer contacts and meets with requesting college, department, or area to determine justification for approval and recommendations regarding extinguisher type and placement.

Approval

Fire and Safety Compliance
The WSU Fire and Safety Compliance Officer provides a recommendation for approval or denial and, if approved, for the fire extinguisher class and placement to Facilities Services, Operations and the requesting college, department, or area.

Facilities Services, Operations (WSU Pullman)
Upon approval of class ABC fire extinguishers, Facilities Services, Operations provides a work order for the fire extinguisher installation and lists it on the maintenance schedule.

Class D and K fire extinguishers, when required, must be:

  • Supplied by the college, department, or area requiring the fire extinguisher;
  • Replaced when lost, damaged or stolen; and
  • Refilled when used.

Colleges, departments, and areas may contact Facilities Services Life Safety and the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to determine whether a class D or K extinguisher is available in inventory.

Facilities Services, Operations installs and maintains all approved fire extinguishers.

Facilities Services, Operations pays for the purchase of approved class ABC fire extinguishers for Pullman campus units with the following exceptions:

  • Auxiliary Facilities Services;
      
  • USDA facilities;
      
  • All other WSU entities that are not state-funded; and
      
  • Laboratories or other spaces where extinguishers are desired but not required under the International Fire Code, with guidance from the current editions of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 10 (Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers) or NFPA 45 (Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals).
      
    The WSU Fire and Safety Compliance Officer determines whether the extinguisher is required or desired.
Non-Pullman Locations
Submitting Requests

Non-Pullman location units submit an approval request in writing to the applicable campus facilities services or environmental health and safety (EH&S) department.

  • WSU Spokane: WSUS EH&S; telephone 509-368-6699
      
  • WSU Tri-Cities: WSUTC EH&S: telephone 509-372-7163
      
  • WSU Vancouver: WSUV EH&S; telephone 360-546-9706
      
  • WSU Everett: WSUE Facilities; telephone 425-405-1566

The applicable campus facilities services or EH&S department contacts and meets with requesting departments to determine justification for approval and recommendations regarding extinguisher type and placement.

Approval

Upon approval, the applicable campus facilities services or EH&S department provides a work order for the fire extinguisher installation and lists it on the maintenance schedule.

The applicable campus facilities services or EH&S department purchases, installs, and maintains all approved fire extinguishers for non-Pullman location units.

Extinguisher Maintenance

Immediately report all fire extinguisher discharges to Facilities Services, Operations or the applicable campus facilities services or EH&S department, regardless of the total quantity discharged.

An Incident Report must be submitted for all fire extinguisher discharges except those associated with training. (See SPPM 2.24.)

Immediately report lost, damaged, or stolen extinguishers to Facilities Services, Operations or the applicable campus facilities services or EH&S department.

Pullman Locations

Facilities Services, Operations pays for the purchase of class ABC replacements for lost, damaged, or stolen extinguishers for all Pullman campus units, except for Auxiliary Facilities Services, USDA units, or all other WSU entities that are not state-funded.

NOTE: Pullman campus colleges, departments, and areas must report all fire extinguisher purchases to Facilities Services, Operations for inventory and maintenance purposes.

Facilities Services, Operations personnel provide all fire extinguisher maintenance for WSU Pullman. Fire extinguisher maintenance services are provided on a billable basis to Auxiliary Facilities Services, USDA units, and other WSU entities that are not state-funded.

Pullman campus units contact Facilities Services, Operations to request maintenance; telephone 509-335-9000; or online through myFacilities

Non-Pullman Locations

Non-Pullman location units contact the applicable campus facilities services or EH&S department to request extinguisher maintenance.

  • WSU Spokane: WSUS EH&S; telephone 509-368-6699
      
  • WSU Tri-Cities: WSUTC EH&S: telephone 509-372-7163
      
  • WSU Vancouver: WSUV EH&S; telephone 360-546-9706
      
  • WSU Everett: WSUE Facilities; telephone 425-405-1566