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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
How to prevent fires from occurring 
Class A Ordinary combustibles:

Keep storage and working areas free of trash. Place oily rags in covered containers.

Class B - Flammable liquids or gases:

Don't refuel gasoline-powered equipment in a confined space, especially in the presence of an open flame such as a furnace or water heater.

Don't refuel gasoline-powered equipment while it's hot.

Keep flammable liquids stored in tightly closed, self-closing, spill-proof containers. Pour from storage drums only what you'll need.

Store flammable liquids away from spark-producing sources.

Use flammable liquids only in well-ventilated areas.

Class C - Electrical equipment:

Look for old wiring, worn insulation and broken electrical fittings. Report any hazardous condition to your supervisor.

Prevent motors from overheating by keeping them clean and in good working order. A spark from a rough-running motor can ignite the oil and dust in it.

Utility lights should always have some type of wire guard over them. Heat from an uncovered light bulb can easily ignite ordinary combustibles.

Don't misuse fuses. Never install a fuse rated higher than specified for the circuit.

Investigate any appliance or electrical equipment that smells strange. Unusual odors can be the first sign of fire.

Don't overload wall outlets. Two outlets should have no more than two plugs.

Class D - Flammable metals:

Flammable metals such as magnesium and titanium generally take a very hot heat source to ignite; however, once ignited are difficult to extinguish as the burning reaction produces sufficient oxygen to support combustion, even under water.

In some cases, covering the burning metal with sand can help contain the heat and sparks from the reaction. Class D extinguishing agents are available (generally as a dry powder in a bucket or box) which can be quite effective, but these agents are rare on the campus.

If you are planning a research project using a large amount of flammable metals you should consider purchasing a five or ten pound container of Class-D extinguishing agent as a precaution.

Pure metals such as potassium and sodium react violently (even explosively) with water and some other chemicals, and must be handled with care. Generally these metals are stored in sealed containers in a non-reactive liquid to prevent decay (surface oxidation) from contact with moisture in the air.

White phosphorus is air-reactive and will burn/explode on contact with room air. It must be kept in a sealed container with a non-reactive solution to prevent contact with air.

All of these metals are not uncommon in labs on the Millikin campus, but are generally only found in small quantities and accidental fires/reactions can be controlled or avoided completely through knowledge of the properties of the metals and using good judgment and common sense.

Class K - Grease Fires:

Due to new and improved cooking appliances, higher heating rates and industry trends towards using more unsaturated oils causes more fires in restaurants.   Using grease in your own kitchen will catch fire.

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL