In January, the Division of the Fire Marshal (DFM), Office of Research Services kicked off the New Year with a fire safety campaign titled, "Help Us Help You! - Know How to Spot Common Fire Safety Hazards in the Workplace." (http://go.usa.gov/czxz4). The DFM offered suggestions on how to spot, correct and prevent such fire hazards as: blocked or locked exit doors; storage in stairwells; fire doors propped open; improper use of extension cords; material/equipment in corridors that impede egress; portable space-heating devices in labs and health care areas; flammable or combustible liquids and compressed gas cylinders in corridors; tampering with fire protection equipment; missing ceiling tiles; and, equipment with damaged or exposed electrical wiring.Even though all facilities on the NIH Bethesda and Poolesville campuses are surveyed regularly for fire safety hazards by the DFM, the "Top Ten" list of common fire safety hazards in the workplace still prompted substantial feedback from concerned NIH employees recognizing potential fire safety hazards.The DFM has made it even easier for an employee to report a fire safety issue or concern. Visit the DFM website and use the anonymous "Report a Fire Safety Issue or Concern" tool at: http://www.ors.od.nih.gov/ser/dfm/Pages/Community-Complaint-Report.aspx. You can choose to provide your name and contact information or you are welcome to issue a report anonymously. If you choose to enter your contact information, your submission will be handled confidentially.The NIH community should not assume the DFM is aware of and/or working to correct every fire safety hazard. Peer responsibility plays a large part in keeping NIH facilities fire-safe. Therefore, it is extremely important for the NIH community to be able to spot and correct, or report, the more common workplace fire safety hazards before a fire incident occurs.
The Division of the Fire Marshal (DFM), Office of Research Services, greatly appreciates the ongoing assistance and support of the NIH community as our advocates for keeping NIH facilities fire safe. For questions or assistance regarding any workplace fire safety matter, please contact the DFM at 301-496-0487.