Fire Safety Regulations Guide


Identify Sources of Oxygen

The main source of oxygen for a fire is in the air around us. In an enclosed building this is provided by the ventilation system in use. This generally falls into one of two categories: natural airflow through doors, windows and other openings; or mechanical air conditioning systems and air handling systems. In many buildings there will be a combination of systems, which will be capable of introducing/extracting air to and from the building.

Additional sources of oxygen can sometimes be found in materials used or stored at premises such as:

  • some chemicals (oxidising materials), which can provide a fire with additional oxygen and so help it burn. These chemicals should be identified on their container (and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health data sheet) by the manufacturer or supplier who can advise as to their safe use and storage;
  • oxygen supplies from cylinder storage and piped systems, e.g. oxygen used in welding processes; and
  • pyrotechnics (fireworks), which contain oxidising materials and need to be treated with great care.

Checklist

  • Have you identified all potential ignition sources?
  • Have you identified all potential fuel sources?
  • Have you identified all potential sources of oxygen?
  • Have you made a note of your findings?
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