Fire risk

Resource Person

  • The AP : his/her knowledge of both the laboratory  and its activities enable him/her to identify  potential sources of fire.
  • The Cellule de Première Intervention (first intervention task force): the first intervention teams are in charge of setting up the fire-extinguishing and emergency equipment.
  • The people in charge of evacuating the laboratory: they proceed to evacuating the site and make sure that nobody has stayed inside the laboratory.

Fire is a combustion

It is a process of oxidation between two elements: a fuel (that burns) and an oxidizing substance (that keeps the fuel burning). Combustion is often symbolised by the fire triangle. All three elements of the triangle are necessary to start a fire: hence, suppressing one element will put out the fire.

Main prevention measures

For the laboratory:     

  • Locate the cut-off devices (gas, power...) and emergency equipment
  • Make sure corridors, stairs and above all the exits are clear
  • Store in adapted premises and appropriate conditions all flammable products and high calorific potential materials (do not store anything in sheaths and pipe galleries),
  • Do not use too many multiple plugs

For the staff:    

  • Take part in the compulsory evacuation exercises
  • Read the safety instructions and comply with them
  • Know the emergency phone numbers and display them
  • Attend fire-fighting training sessions
  • Do not park your car on emergency access roads

In case of fire    

  • Act fast but stay calm
  • Sound the alarm and call or have someone call both the Cellule de Première Intervention (first intervention task force) and the fire brigade
  • Use the appropriate emergency equipment of the laboratory
  • Cut off power and gas, close doors and windows
  • Evacuate the laboratory calmly, using the previously defined or usable itineraries
  • If it is impossible to evacuate, keep close to the windows (possibly accessible from the fire brigade's ladder) and show that you are there
  • If there is too much smoke or the temperature is very high, kneel:   the air is cooler near the ground. Do not forget that smoke can be very toxic.
  • Do not go back
  • Never use the elevators

Fire-fighting equipment

Fire-extinguishers are the main emergency equipment present in the laboratories. The choice of which type to use depends on the type of fire.

Fire classification


Fire-extinguisher to be used

  Dry fires
  (solid combustibles)

Wood, cardboard, fabrics, straw...

- water
          - pulverized water with additive
- multipurpose dry powder
- foams

  Grease fires
  (liquids and melting solids)

Gasoline, alcohols, fuel-oil, tar, grease...

- pulverized water with additive
  - multipurpose dry powder
  - CO2 (carbon dioxide)
  - foams

  Gas fires

methane, butane, propane...

- multipurpose dry powder
  - CO2 (carbon dioxide)

      Metal fires

sodium, aluminum, magnesium...

- special extinguishers (or sand)

        Cooking oil fires


Vegetable and animal fats (hot oil bath)

- pulverized water with additive
  - multipurpose dry powder
  - CO2(carbon dioxyde)
  - foams


In the case of fires linked to electricity, it is better to use CO2 extinguishers.


This fact sheet is available under a Creative Commons License.    

Categories :

Espace adhérent

Accessible aux personnes à jour de cotisation de l’année en cours


mot de passe

Mot de passe oublié


Dernières Actualités

05 FEVRIER 2012 : Ouverture des inscriptions aux 29èmes journée de l'ADHYS "Santé au travail : Comment prendre en compte les risques psychosociaux" les 29 et 30 mars 2012 à l'université de Lorraine (Metz).

Journées/tables rondes

2011 : Les risques biologiques : Préoccupations actuelles et prévention
2010 : Le risque chimique : Préoccupations actuelles et prévention
2009 : Facteur humain et prévention