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Techniques in “Fire in the Workplace” by Ron Nunez

The article “Fire in the Workplace,” written by Ron Nunez, outlines the possible fire in workplace prevention techniques. Ron Nunez works at Fluor Corp,m where he implements and develops various programs related to environmental safety, corporate safety, as well as the health of the employees. In the first part of the article, the author gives examples of the 1991 Imperial Chicken Plant fire and the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that both had devastating consequences. The 1991 fire resulted in twenty-five workers dead and forty-nine injured while the fire in 1911 caused the death of one hundred and forty-nine people (Nunez, 2007, p. 46).

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The second part of the paper offers practical information on how the organization should act upon the possible danger of fire and apply the learned lessons from the provided examples of fire in the workplace.

Fire exits, fire suppression systems, portable fire extinguishers, emergency evacuation, and fire prevention plans are the primary methods of fire prevention, as mentioned by the author. In addition, apart from providing effective fire prevention methods in the workplace, the company should also encourage its workers to also implement fire safety measures at home. Thus, the author puts an emphasis on the fact that fire safety directly relates to learning from the previous instances of fire in the workplace and taking any precautions in order to prevent it.

The article supports the idea that safety in the workplace is not only the most important condition for the employees but is compulsory since an organization is responsible for the safety of its employees while they are working. The proposed fire prevention plans relate to designing a comprehensive process that controls the ignition sources in the workplace, which is accessible to all employees (Nunez, 2007, p. 48).

The primary emphasis in the case of a fire in the workplace should be put on the evacuation. Evacuation is important because even if an employer equips the workplace with fire extinguishers and expects employees to use it in a case of an emergency, the use of fire extinguishers can also lead to potential harm (Spellman & Whiting, 2005, p. 287).

In my opinion, despite emergency evacuation plans being the most effective in the case of a fire in the workplace, it will not be as effective without combination with other fire prevention methods. Thus, it is crucial to find a “golden middle” among the possible fire prevention methods and use those techniques that are the most suitable for the organization in question. Furthermore, conducting training on workplace safety for all employees is an important step in establishing safety and encouraging employees to cooperate in case of an emergency.

In addition to cooperation, the organization should go to great lengths to have the latest fire prevention technologies in their facilities. The mentioned Fire-Lite Alarms and emergency evacuation audible technologies are useful but are already dated. For instance, the organization can also add a new fire extinguishing system like Victaulic Vortex that combines nitrogen and water in one suspension in order to cool the fire as well as counteract the oxygen that is necessary for the fire to burn.

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Thus, an effective fire prevention system in the workplace is a combination of the most successful techniques that involve employee cooperation as well as innovative technologies targeted at fire prevention and, in a case of an emergency, extinction.


Nunez, R. (2007). Fire in the Workplace: Fundamental Elements of Prevention & Protection. Best Practices, 5(11), 46-48.

Spellman, F., & Whiting, N. (2005). Safety Engineering: Principles and Practices (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Government Institutes.

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