Fire Safety Rules 

Precautionary Procedures

  • Smoke Detectors are located throughout the Science Center as well as manually operated alarms. When activated, an alarm sounds throughout the building and at the Wellesley Fire Department. If the alarm sounds, it is your personal responsibility to evacuate the building immediately.
  • Know the location of fire exits, fire alarms, fire blankets and extinguishers. Each laboratory is equipped with an appropriate fire extinguisher which may be useful in containing small fires. Fire extinguishers are primarily first aid instruments intended for use on fires in their incipient stages, before they have the opportunity to spread. At the beginning of each semester of laboratory, check with the instructor on proper use of fire extinguishers. See Guide to Classes of Fires to see which particular fire extinguishers are effective on which fires.
  • Keep all doors labeled as fire doors closed at all times.
  • Do not block access to fire escapes by furniture or other stray objects.
  • Neatness prevents many fires. Fire spreads much faster when it has cluttered waste materials to feed on. Oily rags, waste or papers improperly stored are important causes of spontaneous combustion. Store these materials in covered metal containers.

Emergency Fire Procedures

  • If a fire starts, call your instructor; then, then if the fire is small, confine it with the help of the instructor, and try to extinguish it with the available extinguishers in the lab.
  • Never hesitate to ring the alarm, regardless of how small the fire appears.
  • If there is no injury, and the fire is contained in a vessel, it can usually be suffocated by covering the vessel with an inverted beaker or watchglass. Do not use towels or clothes. Remove nearby flammable materials to avoid possible spread of fire. If the fire is over an area too large to be suffocated quickly and simply, abandon the fire.
  • If evacuation is necessary, and time allows, shut off power to any machinery, apparatus or equipment. Shut off gas or other open flames. Turn off hot plates. Turn off main gas valve.
  • If in the event of a fire, your clothes ignite, drop and roll to smother the flames. Do not run. Running intensifies the flames. Fire blankets are available in each lab and at many points in the interior corridors. They are to wrap around yourself to aid in putting out the fire.
  • Exit from the building via staircases. Do not take elevators. Remove any objects that are obstacles in passageways or are before fire doors. Do not linger at the bottom of the fire escapes. Do not return to the building unless notified to do so by the Fire Department or a member of the Science Center Safety Committee.

Guide to Classes of Fires and Methods of Extinguishment 

Class A Fire:Wood, Paper, Textiles and other ordinary combustible materials.

To Extinguish a Class A Fire Use:

  • Pressurized Water
  • ABC Dry Chemical (All Purpose)
  • Soda Acid Foam

Class B Fire: Flammable Liquids: Oils, Solvents, Grease. Paint, etc.
To Extinguish A Class B Fire Use:

  • BC Dry Chemical (regular)
  • Carbon Dioxide Foam

Class C Fire: Live or energized Electrical or Electronic Equipment
To Extinguish A Class C Fire Use:

  • Carbon Dioxide
  • BC Dry Chemical (regular) (This is effective but will destroy electronic gear.)

Class D Fire: Metals: Magnesium., Aluminum, Sodium, Potassium, Zirconium, Titanium, etc.
To Extinguish a Class D Fire Use:

  • Special Metal Extinguishers
  • Special Metal Powders
  • The ordinary extinguishers found in the building should not be used on metal fires because a violent reaction may result.