posted on May 14: Firefighter brings fire safety tips to campus


Hamilton firefighter Peter DeBoer visited campus last week to remind employees of the importance of fire safety. His visit coincided with North America Health and Safety Week.

“Everyone should be familiar with the evacuation procedures for their particular building,” said DeBoer, who is with the department's fire prevention division. “And everyone should be on the lookout for fire hazards. If you see something dangerous then you should act.”

These are the hazards to watch for:

  • Self-closing doors which have been propped open or have had their pins removed. A self-closing door will contain a fire, keeping the fire away from corridors and other people. If the door is disabled it won't serve its purpose. DeBoer says if you see that the door has been propped open with a wooden door stop, you should throw the door stop away. If the door doesn't latch properly, you should report it.
  • Blocked exits. If you see anything that is blocking an exit you should either move it yourself or report it.
  • Exit signs which no longer light up. “They should be lit at all times,” says DeBoer. “You should report a sign which no longer works properly.”
  • Corridors with boxes or goods stored in them. “Maintaining the width of a corridor is important,” he says. If the corridor is blocked it could stop people from getting out of a building in case of an emergency evacuation.

“Every bit of the system is important, says DeBoer. “A fire safety plan relies on everything in the system working as planned.”

DeBoer's talk was a part of a three-day agenda of health and safety activities presented by Risk Management Services.