A fire prevention and control program must have the understanding and the cooperation of every employee in order to be effective. Although the overall program is under the direction of the mine manager, each employee on the job does have a direct responsibility for the program.
The mine manager, because of his knowledge of the operation, is in an excellent position to determine the fire prevention measures necessary. He should be able to recognize the need for specific fire protection equipment and should take necessary steps to see that such equipment is provided.
Continuous training in fire safe work procedures, regular inspections of work areas, and close supervision of the employees job performance are requisites of a successful fire prevention program.
Although the fire protection equipment may be maintained by others, the ultimate responsibility for fire safety for employees, material in process, and production equipment rightfully belongs to the mine manager.
Thus, the mine manager must make sure, not only that the proper fire protection is provided but also that employees follow fire-safe procedures.
Portable fire fighting equipment has been placed throughout the plant. This equipment is capable of extinguishing fires in their initial stage. Under no conditions should access to extinguishers be blocked. Extinguishers when used must be recharged and returned immediately to their original locations.
The types of extinguishers available are as follows:
- Dry powder and carbon dioxide: These extinguishers are capable of extinguishing small fires in flammable liquids and electrical equipment. The extinguishing agent is a non-conductor of electricity so that operator is not liable to electric shock.
- Water extinguishers: These extinguishers are best suited for fires in combustibles, i.e. paper, wood and rags, etc. Water should never be used on electrical or oil fires. The water conducts electricity and has a tendency to spread oil fires rather than extinguish them.