Fire Safety in Welding

Fire safety is important to know especially if your a welder (for obvious reasons). Knowing how a fire starts and how to stop it could on day save your life or others, I know it certainly has mine.

Fire triangle

This is a fire triangle. All three components are needed to create the fire. Take one away and you’ll extinguish the fire. There are 3 good ways to kill a fire. Starve it, cool it, or smother it.

1-Starve it by cutting it off at the the fuel source eg. shutting off the cylinder valve.

2-Cool it by throwing water on it.

3-Smothering it will restrict the oxygen. you can use a wet blanket, sand, fire extinguisher, or if you become a human torch the stop, drop and roll technique should work.

Fire Extinguishers

There are different classes of fires A,B,C, and D.

A – Ordinary combustibles

B – Flammable liquids and gases

C – Energized electrical equipment

D – Combustible metals

I’m not going to go into great detail about the fire extinguisher. All you really have to know is what kind of fire your dealing with and make sure you have the appropriate fire extinguisher. The best one to get would be an ABC extinguisher, unless of course you plan on working with combustible metals like zirconium or magnesium. Then it would be a good idea to have a D fire extinguisher on hand. All welding shops Perth and in the rest of the country are required to have all the safety measures taken care of.

Potential fire safety hazards

Always be aware of your surroundings before you start to weld or torch cut. It’s always a good idea to move anything that looks like it could blow up or catch fire. If you can’t move it then move your work piece, if you can’t do either then block it with something to keep the sparks away like piece of ply wood.

Other potential hazards you should be aware of are the clothes you wear. Are your pants frayed at the bottom? It might look like no big deal until your welding and your wondering why your leg feels hot all of a sudden.

Sparks fly everywhere and if your not properly dressed sparks can find themselves in the most inconvenient places. So cover up properly. Do up your boots and don’t tuck your in shirt. If a spark manages to find its way down your shirt it’s easier to help it find it’s way out.

Fire safety knowledge will help keep you safe from getting any nasty burns.

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