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  • Writer's pictureFiona Nelmes

Toolbox Talk 006

Fire Prevention and Control

by Idris Oyebamiji


Fire kills more than 1000 people every year and injures thousands more. Therefore, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to prevent fires from occurring and to know how to control them when they do happen. The aim of this toolbox talks is to highlight some fire prevention and control tips.


Fire Prevention Tips

• Do not hang clothing over or near heating equipment.

• Do not let paper, oily rags or other rubbish accumulate.

• Do not smoke in prohibited areas.

• Use proper sealed containers for flammable liquids, not open tins, or buckets.

• Do not overload electric sockets – ‘one socket, one plug’.

Where flammable liquids should be stored

• Handle flammable liquids at a safe distance from possible sources of ignition.

• Ensure there are no adjacent flammable materials before using blow lamps, welding, and cutting equipment.

• Bitumen boilers, soldering irons and gas rings must be on non-combustible stands.

• Switch off at mains any electrical equipment not in use.

Checks to be carry out before and after using cutting and welding equipment

• Make sure you know what to do in case of fire.

• Make certain you know your escape route.

• Keep fire doors clear and unobstructed.

• Do not obstruct access to fire extinguishers.

• Ensure you know how to operate the fire extinguishers in your area.

Precautions concerning Fire extinguishers

• All new and refurbished extinguishers will be coloured red with a contrasting colour panel to indicate the contents.

• Water (red) – use on paper, wood, and solid flammables.

• CO2 (black) – use on liquids, gases, and electrical fires.

• Foam (cream) – use on flammable liquids.

• Powder (blue) – use on all types of fires but primarily fires involving metals, such as aluminium and magnesium.

Actions you should take in the event of a fire

• Raise the alarm and then call the fire brigade.

• Close doors and windows to prevent the spread of fire.

• Evacuate the building or area you are working in.

• Fight the fire with extinguishers provided, but do not put yourself at risk.

• Do not use water to put out electrical fires.


Fire prevention and control is everyone's responsibility. By taking the necessary precautions, we can all prevent fires from happening and minimize the damage they cause. Be vigilant and follow safety protocols to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Firstly, ensure that all flammable materials are stored in a safe and secure manner.

Secondly, be aware of potential fire hazards in the workplace.

Thirdly, have a fire prevention plan in place. This should include regular maintenance of fire alarms, extinguishers, and other fire safety equipment. Conduct fire drills regularly so that everyone is familiar with the emergency procedures.

These simple tips can help you in your toolbox talk delivery:

  1. Practice makes perfect. Yes, it's a cliché - but it's true...

  2. Stay on topic. Try not to get side-tracked by other subjects or topics...

  3. Pace yourself...

  4. Keep it simple...

  5. Present positively...

  6. Engage and involve...

  7. Speak then listen...

  8. Check everyone understands and record everyone involved to keep record of training.

We at KVF really believe that Toolbox Talks are ideal for raising awareness.

Please remember, task specific training should take place only once the basics of health and safety training have been issued to your teams. To get more information on our e-learning platform Intuity Training, email:

Look out for our regular blogs and if there are any subjects you want to see included, let us know at

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