Please review the Safety and Waste and Hazardous Materials material below. When you have finished, click the Safety Test link on the right. You may print this page and keep it for reference.

OSHA Fire Safety


Inspect your client’s home for fire hazards regularly.

Check fire alarms to ensure they are in working order.
Know where fire extinguishers are kept.

Keep combustibles and flammables away from heat.

Keep equipment that can spark away from areas where oxygen is in use.

Know the emergency evacuation plan for your patient.  All patients should have an emergency plan in their charts.

Make sure client’s travel bag is well stocked with essentials.


First:  Remember R.A.C.E.

R- Rescue/Remove- Move patient and others away from immediate danger.

A-Alarm: Call 911. You must alert the local fire department. Call RN on call as soon as possible.

C- Confine or contain the fire. Close doors and windows, if able to do so safely.

E- Extinguish the fire if you can safely do it without causing any danger to yourself and others. If the fire is a very small one that you can quickly and safely put out using water or a fire extinguisher, do it. If the fire is too big, get everyone out and call the fire department to put the fire out.

In case of emergency, keep a fully stocked travel bag containing everything necessary for the patient. All personal items should be left behind. No one should go back into the home. Take only what is needed for the patient.

Fire is a chemical reaction involving rapid oxidation or burning of a fuel and needs three elements to occur- fuel, oxygen and heat (ignition source).

Fuel- can be any combustible material-solid, liquid or gas. Solids and liquids must be heated to a vapor or gas before they can burn

Oxygen- the air we breathe is about 21% oxygen. Fire only needs an atmosphere of 16% oxygen to burn.
Heat- heat is the energy necessary to increase the temperature of the fuel to a point where sufficient vapors are given off for ignition to occur.

Take any one of the three factors away, and the fire cannot occur or will be extinguished if it is already burning.

Classification of fires
Classified by the types of materials that are burning.

Class A-  ordinary combustables or fibrous materials, such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber and some plastics.

Class B– flammable or combustable liquids such as gasoline, kerosene,paint, paint thinners and propane.

Class C- energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, switches, panal boxes and power tools.

Class D– combustable metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium. These matals burn at high temperatures and create their own oxygen to support combustion. They may react violently with water or other chemicals.

Fire Extinguisher Ratings
Same as fires, A,B, C,D. Also multiple ratings, AB, BC, ABC. These are capable of putting out more than one class of fire. All ratings are displayed on the extinguisher faceplate.

ABC-rated multipurpose dry powder extinguishers- most common. Almost always red in color, and have a long narrow hose or no hose at all with a short nozzle. Light weight 5-25 lbs.

Water extinguishers- not often used in commercial settings and are usually silver in color, flat bottom and long narrow hose.

CO2 , Carbon Dioxide extinguishers- usually red in color, have a large tapered nozzle, and heavy 15-85 lbs., should not drop these, if damaged they could explode due to high pressure.

How to Use: P A S S

PULL the pin
AIM the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the flames
SQUEEZE the trigger while holding the extinguisher upright
SWEEP the extinguisher from side to side , covering the affected area with the extinguisher agent

Leave the area immediately if:

Never fight a fire when:

If any of these situations exists, do not fight the fire alone, call for help.

Waste and Hazardous Materials Management

Employee safety and health is important.

Click the Safety Test link on the right to take the test.