Just curious as to how many of us have a Fire Extinguisher in our workshop,
I have two fire extinguishers which I keep near the entrance to my workshop, one is a small dry powder for electrical or liquid fires and the other is a large 9 litre water extinguisher. There is also a water tap with long garden hose just outside the workshop. So far I have never had to use them, but its good to know that I have something should a fire start.
I have an ABC fire extinguisher in my shop. In the US, the A means it can be used on ordinary combustible material, B means it can be used on flammable liquids, and C means it be used on electrical materials. There is also a D extinguisher for metals like magnesium.
Due to the fact that wood working areas by there very nature are somewhat of a risk in regards to a fire.
Sawdust and woodchips in the collection areas of various tools are always present, then there is the fine dust behind items that are not so accessable.
As as standard stop work prctice I remove all dust and wood particles by both compressed air and vacuum.
All my equipment is blown down and where I can remove by vacuum I do so. I also have a petrol blower th do the floors walls and ajoining walkways, all this may appear excessive however I consider worthwile, then all the material is then dug into my garden compost heap.
All the tools and vacuum ducting is grounded with braid to the concrete floor to reduced to possibility of sparks from static electricity. Hopefiully reducing the risk of a fire.
However in the event that there is a fire, I have 2x CO2 cylinders in the work area and 2 x water pressue portable units outside, along with 2 x garden hoses which will reach any whewere in the house as well.
Also attached to my BBQ, every Australian house has a "barbie" is a fire blanket.
Waste rags washed routinely or thrown away, disposing of then is the best solution I find.
Exothermic oil rags etc used to finish timber are dumped no questions asked.
Fine dry dust and a spark from grinding tools is something that should also be condidered.
No Extinguisher I have ever been used in anger however my kids when the were smaller used the water pressure ones for water fights in the hot summer times. No big deal at least they were tested annually then refilled and repressurised using a tyre pump.
Now the scary stuff.
The storage area for all my tools is also, a laundry, Battery powered solar system for power, Car and bike and small motor servicing area and once these are all considered add up to what would be almost a most serious NO GO area for a fire fighter to enter.
Think about it for a moment .
Petrol. metho turpentine, cleaning products, LP Gas, Hydrogen, Sulphric Acid, BBQ Fire lighters Oils paints glues, sawdust Epoxies, then wood weneer paper and lots of off cuts. Makes you wonder just who you are living next door to eh!
Being my home I have no requirement to display and warning signs what so ever, however if it was Commercial or industrial site could you imagine the mass of Danger diamonds the would be on the walls greeting a firefighter if they were required.
So if you have a similar area and dont have portable fire fighting appliances do a risk assessment of your area and contents and see what you discover.
You may be quite shocked at just what is there, then when you aggerate everything up and then consider those incompatable substances all in one area together may cause you to reconsider.
All could be a bit scary
I think a very worthwile question by Al.
I have two as well, one at the front door and one at the back door. Both are large sized ABC type and are well marked so that others besides myself can identify their locations. I have them checked on a regular basis by the fire department to insure that they will work should they be needed. But please don't stop here...................
Since we are talking about safety and possible life and death situations we should include medical first aid kits and supplies. I keep a very large well marked first aid medical box of which is full stocked with everything from small bandages to large sized compression dressings. Also there is some large surgical tubing with a couple hardwood sticks to use as a tourniquit in case of severe injuries where blood flow is unable to be stopped with pressure points.
Besure to have your address and shop location well marked and make sure that fire and medical personnel can gain access in the event of an emergency. This is expecially important with persons whom have medical conditions that can render them unable to move or those whom can become unconscience such as dibetic problems. THE LIFE YOU SAVE COULD BE YOUR OWN.
Robert you raised some really good points.
Apart from the woodchips and sawdust most of us would have a variety of flammable items in our workshops that could also pose a risk. I use an old (non working) refrigerator to store my solvents, paints/finishes, glues, etc. as the temperature in my workshop can get quite hot during summer, I try and dispose of used rags as I go. Every so often I use a blower and give the workshop a good blow out.
Thanks for the input,
Jay I like your points on the first aid kit and emergency access,
I have first aid kits in the cars and house, but that is something I don't have in the workshop, I will now be adding a first aid kit to my workshop.
Hopefully this thread can encourage people to look at safety in their own workshops and make it a safer place to enjoy their hobby.
Thank you all once again for the reply's.
Hi Al, Great subject for a post. I also have two abc fire extinguishers in my shop, because my shop is in my basement I'm always concerned about a fire. I keep my flammables in a flammable cabinet, and used rags go in to an old style metal garbage can with a little water and a tight fitting lid.
Like Jay said I also have a first aid kit, and i recently added a phone down there in case of an emergency.
Yes I also have a dry bottle.Sure hope I never have to lift it off the mounting bracket
Thanks for the reply's,