Kevin Ian Schmidt

Fire Risk Assessment

Prior to fighting any fire with a portable fire extinguisher you must perform a fire risk assessment that evaluates the fire size, the fire fighters evacuation path, and the atmosphere in the vicinity of the fire.

Check Out: Fire Extinguisher Basics
Risk Assessment Question Characteristics of incipient stage fires or fires that can be extinguished with portable fire extinguishers Characteristics of fires that

SHOULD NOT be fought with a portable fire extinguisher (beyond incipient stage) – evacuate immediately

Is the fire too big? The fire is limited to the original material ignited, it is contained (such as in a waste basket) and has not spread to other materials. The flames are no higher than the firefighter’s head. The fire involves flammable solvents, has spread over more than 60 square feet, is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling, or cannot be reached from a standing position.
Is the air safe to breathe? The fire has not depleted the oxygen in the room and is producing only small quantities of toxic gases. No respiratory protection equipment is required. Due to smoke and products of combustion, the fire cannot be fought without respiratory protection.
Is the environment too hot or smoky? Heat is being generated, but the room temperature is only slightly increased. Smoke may be accumulating on the

ceiling, but visibility is good. No special personal protective equipment is required.

The radiated heat is easily felt on exposed skin making it difficult to approach within 10-15 feet of the fire (or the effective range of the extinguisher). One must crawl on the floor due to heat or smoke. Smoke is quickly filling the room, decreasing visibility.
Is there a safe evacuation path? There is a clear evacuation path that is behind you as you fight the fire. The fire is not contained, and fire, heat, or smoke may block the evacuation path.

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