The purpose of a Fire Prevention Plan is to eliminate the causes of fire, prevent loss of life and property by fire, and to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standard on fire prevention, 29 CFR 1910.39. It provides employees with information and guidelines that will assist them in recognizing, reporting, and controlling fire hazards.
A quality Fire Prevention Plan describes the fuel sources (hazardous or other materials) on site that could initiate or contribute both to the spread of a fire, as well as the building systems, such as fixed fire extinguishing systems and alarm systems, in place to control the ignition or spread of a fire.
OSHA Guidelines for a Fire Prevention Plan
A fire prevention plan must be in writing, be kept in the workplace, and be made available to employees for review. However, an employer with 10 or fewer employees may communicate the plan orally to employees. [29 CFR 1910.39(b)]
At a minimum, your fire prevention plan must include:
- A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(1)]
- Procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(2)]
- Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(3)]
- The name or job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(4)]
- The name or job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(5)]
- An employer must inform employees upon initial assignment to a job of the fire hazards to which they are exposed. An employer must also review with each employee those parts of the fire prevention plan necessary for self-protection. [29 CFR 1910.39(d)]
Learn how to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment to best formulate your Fire Prevention Plan
A Fire Prevention Plan serves to reduce the risk of fires at your workplace in the following ways:
- The Fire Prevention Plan identifies materials that are potential fire hazards and their proper handling and storage procedures.
- It distinguishes potential ignition sources and the proper control procedures of those materials.
- The plan describes fire protection equipment and/or systems used to control fire hazards.
- It identifies persons responsible for maintaining the equipment and systems installed to prevent or control ignition of fires.
- The Fire Prevention Plan identifies persons responsible for the control and accumulation of flammable or combustible material.
- It describes good housekeeping procedures necessary to insure the control of accumulated flammable and combustible waste material and residues to avoid a fire emergency.
- The plan provides training to employees with regard to fire hazards to which they may be exposed.