Chapter 12
FIRE PREVENTION AND PROTECTION

Contents

Approved by Todd LaBerge
Revised 08/15


12.1 Policy
12.2 Scope
12.3 Applicability
12.4 Exceptions
12.5 Roles & Responsibilities
12.6 Definitions
12.7 Required Work Processes
Work Process A. Fire Hazard Assessment/Fire Protection Assessment
Work Process B. Equivalencies and Exemptions
Work Process C. Use of Fire Protection Equipment
Work Process D. Impairments to Fire Protection Equipment
Work Process E. Building Emergency Plan
Work Process F. Hot Work Permits
Work Process G. Use of Combustible Materials
Work Process H. Use of Hazardous Materials
Work Process I. Use of Portable Heating Devices
Work Process J. Use of Mechanical Equipment & Fan Rooms
Work Process K. Construction/Renovation
Work Process L. Use of Emergency Lighting
Work Process M. Use of Exit Signs
Work Process N. Egress Path Markings
Work Process O. Exit Corridors
Work Process P. Use of Lockers & Cabinets
Work Process Q. Use of Seasonal Decorations
Work Process R. Fire Protection Staff Development and Training
Work Process S. Smoking
12.8 Source Requirements
12.9 Related ES&H Manual (PUB-3000) Chapters
12.10 References
12.11 Useful Links
12.12 Appendices
Appendix A. Maximum Sizes of Containers for Combustible and Flammable Liquids
Appendix B. Maximum Allowable Quantities — Indoor Storage of Physical Hazard Chemicals
Appendix C. Maximum Allowable Quantities — Indoor Storage of Health Hazard Chemicals
Appendix D. FHA/FPA Checklist
Appendix E. Examples of Incompatible Chemicals

NOTE:
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12.1 Policy

The Fire Prevention and Protection program (FPP)  requires adherence to and compliance with all applicable laws, orders, regulations, codes, standards, guides, policies, and good practices pertaining to fire prevention and protection. General fire prevention requirements, including fire-and-life safety systems; testing and maintenance; and roles and responsibilities are provided by this program.

12.2 Scope

The Fire Prevention and Protection program ensures that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) employees, visitors, and the surrounding public are not harmed by fire, explosion, or other hazards. Property damage from fire must be held to a minimum, as must the impact of fire and related hazards to the Berkeley Lab mission and programs.

The scope of this program is to provide basic Fire Prevention and Fire Protection guidance to all Berkeley Lab employees, affiliates, and subcontractors. Where more detailed information is needed than provided here, consult with the Protective Services Department and the Environment/Health/Safety (EHS) Department at Berkeley Lab.

12.3 Applicability

The Fire Prevention and Protection program applies to all employees, affiliates, and contractors.

12.4 Exceptions

None

12.5 Roles & Responsibilities

Role

Responsibility

Laboratory Director

  • Establishes a Berkeley Lab Fire Prevention and Protection program that is consistent with applicable codes, regulations, and DOE orders
  • Provides and maintains the necessary fire protection program/services to maintain an adequate level of fire-and-life safety as well as property protection

Protective Services Department

  • Develops and administers the Laboratory’s Fire Prevention and Protection program at the direction of the Laboratory Director
  • Establishes and documents the requirements that will provide an acceptable degree of life safety to protect Laboratory personnel and the public from fires at the Berkeley Lab main site or any off-site facility
  • Serves as the liaison to external fire-and-life safety agencies
  • Provides technical expertise to achieve the fire protection goals and meet the life-safety requirements as set forth by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Provides and maintains the necessary staff and resources to ensure the implementation of the Fire Prevention and Protection program

Fire Marshal

  • Serves as the responsible party for the overall Fire Prevention and Protection program
  • Enforces, interprets, applies, and implements the Berkeley Lab Fire Prevention and Protection program
  • Has the authority to suspend unsafe operations or activities
  • Ensures Laboratory-wide compliance with fire prevention and protection requirements
  • Works with EHS staff to identify and resolve code conflicts, inspection issues, lab design and maintenance, or other issues in common for the continuity of science and research
  • Delegates the responsibility and authority for enforcement of the Berkeley Lab Fire Prevention and Protection  to members of the Berkeley Lab Fire Marshal’s Office
  • Is the prime point of contact, and coordinates with the DOE-Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) in the enforcement and application of the Berkeley Lab Fire Prevention and Protection program. The DOE Berkeley Site Office (BSO) retains final authority to grant equivalencies, exemptions, or variances.

Deputy Fire Marshal

  • Is responsible for the daily coordination and support of Fire Inspectors and Fire Protection Engineers in inspections, commissioning fire-and-life safety systems, code compliance, and plan review. Serves in place of the Fire Marshal as appropriate.

Fire Protection Engineer (FPE)

 

 

 

  • Reviews Facilities Division projects to ensure Berkeley Lab’s compliance with fire-and-life safety requirements for the storage, handling, and use of explosives and flammable, combustible, toxic, corrosive, and other hazardous materials
  • Provides guidance for fire safety in the design of, and the processes and equipment used in, experiments and research projects. Equivalencies may be granted under the guidance of the Fire Marshal and the approval of the DOE Fire Protection Engineer. This is covered in detail in Work Process B, Exemptions and Equivalencies.
  • Reviews plans and specifications for fire protection systems, including but not limited to: fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, fixed suppression systems, underground fire protection water distribution systems, and other life-safety systems as necessary
  • Conducts fire prevention and fire protection analyses, and makes recommendations based on findings
  • Reviews all Work Planning and Control (WPC) Risk Level 3 activities involving flammable liquids, gases, and pyrophoric agents. Reviews other WPC activities as requested by EHS.
  • Oversees the inspection, testing, and maintenance of automatic fire protection and alarm systems, emergency lighting, and fire-rated assemblies
  • Manages the inspection, testing, and maintenance program for fire-extinguisher and fixed fire-suppression systems
  • Supports the Fire Marshal in ensuring Laboratory-wide compliance with the Fire Prevention and Protection program and policy

Fire Inspector

  • Responsible for conducting regular fire-safety inspections, code enforcement, witnessing fire-and-life safety systems testing, and limited plan review.

Fire Department

  • Prevents, controls, and suppresses fires
  • Provides emergency response services to protect people and property from fires, explosions, and other hazardous events
  • Investigates the causes, origins, and circumstances of fires and explosions
  • Responds to all calls received by the contractFire Alarm Supervising Station and Dispatch Center
  • Provides first-response rescue and transportation services in medical emergencies
  • Inspects fire extinguishers

Facilities Division Management

  • Ensures compliance with all fire-safety, inspection, and protection requirements for planning, designing, constructing, and installing buildings, structures, systems, and utilities
  • Ensures that all architectural and engineering projects are reviewed by the appropriate EHS Division authorities and the Fire Marshal
  • Responsible for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of the water supply, fire alarms, and fixed fire-extinguishing systems

Supervisors

  • Cooperate with the Fire Marshal’s Office and subject matter experts (SME) by tracking through WPC to identify when changes in operation increase the risk of fire or related perils
  • Ensure their employees receive appropriate fire-safety training to work safely and protect Berkeley Lab assets

Employees

  • Complete all requisite training before working without supervision
  • Conduct operations with minimum risk of fire
  • Report fires, smoke, and potential fire hazards via pulling a fire alarm device or pull station and calling 911. This will result in the dispatch and response of fire and emergency medical services.

Environment/Health/Safety (EHS) Division

  • Provides the chemical inventory system and tools to enable the divisions and the Fire Marshal to effectively manage hazardous materials inventories and track compliance with fire-control area limits.

 

12.6 Definitions

Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)

An organization, office, or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, installation, or a procedure

Clean Agent

Electrically nonconducting gaseous fire-extinguishing agent that does not leave a residue upon evaporation.

Combustible

Any materials that will ignite and sustain combustion, including wood, paper, cardboard, vegetation, flammable/combustible liquids, flammable gases, etc.

Combustible Liquid

Any liquid having a flash point at or above 100°F (37.8°C).

Class II Combustible Liquids include those with flash points at or above 100°F (37.8°C) and below 140°F (60°C), except any mixture having components with flash points of 200°F (93.3°C) or higher, the volume of which make up 99 percent or more of the total volume of the mixture.

  • Examples include acetic acid and kerosene.

Class III Combustible Liquids include those with flash points at or above 140°F (60°C). Class III liquids are subdivided into two subclasses:

  • Class IIIA liquids include those with flash points at or above 140°F (60°C) and below 200°F (93.3°C), except any mixture having components with flash points of 200°F (93.3°C) or higher, the total volume of which make up 99% or more of the total volume of the mixture.
    • Examples include butyric acid and phenol.
  • Class IIIB liquids include those with flash points at or above 200°F (93.3°C). OSHA regulations do not include Class IIIB liquids.
    • Examples include many hydraulic fluids, cutting oils, and motor oil.

EHS

Environment/Health/Safety Division

ETL

Electrical Testing Laboratories

Equivalency

An alternative means of providing a degree of safety equal to or greater than that afforded by strict conformance to prescribed codes and standards

Exemption

The process mandated by DOE for approval to not comply with DOE Order 420.1C or with established national and state codes and standards at DOE-funded facilities

Fire Barrier

A fire-resistance-rated wall or floor assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which continuity is maintained

Fire Door Assembly

A combination of a fire door, a frame, hardware, and other accessories installed in a vertical plane, which together provide a specific degree of fire protection to a through-opening in a fire-resistance-rated floor

Fire Hazard Analysis (FHA)

A formal documented review conducted by DOE or contractors in accordance with DOE requirements that examine the essential fire protection elements as they relate to a specific facility or an overall fire protection program  For applicable buildings, these analyses are conducted either annually or triennially.

Fire Protection Assessment (FPA)

A comprehensive assessment of a facility’s fire risk to verify whether fire-safety objectives have been met. Conducted either annually or triennially for all Lab buildings.

Flammable Aerosol

A chemical that falls into one of the following categories:

A Flammable Aerosol is an aerosol that, when tested by the method described in 16 CFR 1500.45 Method for Determining Extremely Flammable and Flammable Contents of Self-Pressurized Containers, yields a flame projection exceeding 18 inches at full valve opening, or a flashback (a flame extending back to the valve) at any degree to valve opening.

A Flammable Gas is a material that:

  • Is a gas at 68°F (20°C) or less at 14.7 psia (101 kPa of pressure; or
  • Has a boiling point of 68°F (20°C) or less at 14.7 psia (101 kPa); or
  • Is ignitable at 14.7 psia (101 kPa) when in a mixture of 13% or less by volume with air; or
  • Has a flammable range at 14.7 psia (101 kPa) with air of at least 12%, regardless of the lower limit.

The limits specified shall be determined at 14.7 psia (101 kPa) of pressure and a temperature of 68°F (20°C) in accordance with ASTM E681.

A Flammable Solid is a solid other than a blasting agent or explosive (as defined in 29 CFR 1910.109(a) Explosives and Blasting Agents) that is liable to cause fire through friction, absorption or moisture, spontaneous chemical change, or retained heat from manufacturing or processing, or that can be ignited readily and when ignited burns so vigorously and persistently as to create a serious hazard. A chemical is considered to be a flammable solid if, when tested by the method described in 16 CFR 1500.44 Method for Determining Extremely Flammable and Flammable Solids, it ignites and burns with a self-sustained flame at a rate greater than one-tenth of an inch per second along its major axis. (Ref: Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan, Chapter 45, ES&H Manual [PUB-3000])

Flammable Liquid

Any liquid having a flash point below 100°F (37.8°C), except any mixture having components with flash points of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher, the total of which makes up more of the total volume of the mixture. Flammable liquids are divided into three classes as follows:

  • Class IA includes liquids having flash points below 73°F (22.8°C) and having a boiling point below 100°F (37.8°C).
    • Examples include ethyl ether, pentane, methyl ethyl ether
  • Class IB includes liquids having flash points below 73°F (22.8°C) and having a boiling point at or above 100°F (37.8°C).
    • Examples include acetone, gasoline, toluene
  • Class IC includes liquids having flash points at or above 73°F (22.8°C) and below 100°F (37.8°C).
    • Examples include dibutyl ether, turpentine, isopropanol

Hot Work

Work involving burning, welding, cutting, grinding, brazing, or a similar operation that is capable of generating sparks, flames, or capable of initiating fires or explosions

NFPA

National Fire Protection Association

NRTL

Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory

UL

Underwriters Laboratories

WPC

Work Planning & Control


 

12.7 Required Work Processes

Work Process A. Fire Hazard Assessment/Fire Protection Assessment
Work Process B. Equivalencies and Exemptions
Work Process C. Use of Fire Protection Equipment
Work Process D. Impairments to Fire Protection Equipment
Work Process E. Building Emergency Plan
Work Process F. Hot Work Permits
Work Process G. Use of Combustible Materials
Work Process H. Use of Hazardous Materials
Work Process I. Use of Portable Heating Devices
Work Process J. Use of Mechanical Equipment & Fan Rooms
Work Process K. Construction/Renovation
Work Process L. Use of Emergency Lighting
Work Process M. Use of Exit Signs
Work Process N. Egress Path Markings
Work Process O. Exit Corridors
Work Process P. Use of Lockers & Cabinets
Work Process Q. Use of Seasonal Decorations
Work Process R. Fire Protection Staff Development and Training
Work Process S. Smoking

Work Process A. Fire Hazard Analysis/Fire Protection Assessment

At Berkeley Lab, Fire Hazard Analyses (FHAs) and Fire Protection Assessments (FPAs) are performed at regular intervals for all occupied buildings. They are performed by Protective Services staff who use nationally recognized Codes  and Standards as well as Berkeley Lab internal policies to assess the code-compliance and life-safety status of Laboratory buildings. When items are determined to be out of compliance with an associated Code, Standard, or policy, a “Finding” is created that not only details the issue but also the solution.

Findings are categorized and prioritized in accordance with the methodology described in the Berkeley Lab Standard Operating Guide, FPA and FHA Administrative Procedures, latest revision.

Both FHAs and FPAs must be reviewed and signed by a licensed FPE.

Fire Hazard Analysis

The purpose of an FHA is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the risk from fire in a facility to verify that fire-safety objectives are met. The requirements for FHAs are mandated within DOE Order 420.1C with the specific requirements listed in DOE Standard 1066-2012, Fire Protection.

Per DOE Order 420.1C, FHAs, using a graded approach, must be conducted for the following cases: (1) all hazard category 1, 2, and 3 nuclear facilities and major modifications thereto; (2) facilities that represent unique fire safety risks; (3) new facilities or modifications to existing facilities with value greater than $150 million; and (4) when directed by the responsible DOE authority.  The FHAs must be:

a) Performed under the direction of an FPE;
b) Reviewed every three years by an FPE and revised as appropriate;
c) Revised when:

1. Changes to the facility structure or layout, processes, occupancy, safety basis documentation or BNA impacts the analysis in the FHA;
2. A modification to an associated facility or process adds a significant new fire safety risk; or,
3. The periodic (three-year) review identifies the need for changes;

d) Integrated into safety basis documentation.

Most FHAs are performed on a 3-year cycle per the DOE Order. However, Building 6 is reviewed annually due to its high value and critical mission at Berkeley Lab.

Each FHA is conducted in conjunction with an FPA survey. When an FHA/FPA is conducted, Protective Services staff contacts the building manager and safety staff assigned to each building’s users. Before conducting the FHA/FPA survey, Protective Services will send out the previous survey for review along with a checklist that will be used during the walk-through. The  checklist used during surveys can be found in Appendix D. This checklist can be used throughout the year to maintain a positive impact in overall fire prevention.

The scope of an FHA includes an evaluation of the following programmatic and physical features per DOE-STD-1066-2012, Fire Protection:

Fire Protection Assessment (FPA)

The principal objective of an FPA is “to aid in the improvement of the facility fire protection program.” This is accomplished through the identification and correction of deficiencies and the effective communication of lessons learned from the assessment.

Per DOE Order 420.1C, FPAs must be conducted:

a) Annually, or at a frequency with appropriate justification approved by the DOE head of field element, for buildings with a replacement value in excess of $100 million, facilities considered a high hazard, or those in which vital programs are involved, as defined by the responsible DOE authority; and
b) At least every three years, or at a frequency with appropriate justification approved by the DOE head of field element, for remaining low and ordinary hazard facilities.

Where FHA reports are also required, the affected buildings have combined FHA/FPA reports. At Berkeley Lab, most FPAs are performed on a 3-year cycle per the DOE Order. 

The same checklist is used for FPA and FHAs, which can be reviewed in Appendix D. It can also serve as a reminder and guide in between FPA walk-throughs. Similarly to FHAs, Protective Services will contact both the Building Manager and associated safety staff for all divisions occupying a building.

Per Section 7.2.3 of DOE-STD-1066-2012, the scope of an FPA includes an evaluation of the following programmatic and physical features:

More information on FHA/FPAs can be found in Protective Services, Standard Operating Guidelines, FPA and FHA Administrative Procedures, 07.11.001.011, latest revision.

 

Work Process B. Equivalencies and Exemptions

There may be occasions when a specific work activity or facility requires a deviation from the established requirements. In those cases, organizations must request and obtain written authority to deviate from the requirements. This written approval can take two forms: 

Equivalency: An equivalency is an approved, alternate means of meeting the technical provisions of the applicable fire protection code or standard. This would include the DOE Order 420.1C and the California Building and Fire Codes. Request for an equivalency must be processed in accordance with the Berkeley Lab’s Fire Protection Program, Protective Services Department Equivalency Request procedure.

Exemption: An exemption is written authority to deviate from the minimum codes established in DOE Order 420.1C and the California State Fire and Building Codes as enforced at Berkeley Lab. Requests for fire protection exemptions must be processed in accordance with Berkeley Lab and DOE Order 420.1C requirements.

More information on exemptions can be found in Protective Services, Standard Operating Guidelines, Exemption Request Process, 07.11.001.101.01, latest revision. Information on equivalencies can be found in Protective Services, Standard Operating Guidelines, Equivalency Request Procedure, 07.11.001.101.02, latest revision.

 

Work Process C. Use of Fire Protection Equipment

Portable and fixed fire protection equipment is provided for operating and research areas. Fire protection equipment in operating areas consists of both fixed and portable items to detect fires, alert personnel, and suppress and minimize the spread of fire. Fixed equipment includes fire and smoke detectors, audible and visual alarms, fire doors, fire dampers, automatic sprinkler systems, and other automatic fire-suppression systems. Portable equipment consists of fire extinguishers, which are required and available in buildings, and any specialized equipment that a firefighting team may bring to an area.

Fixed fire protection equipment shall be designed, installed, tested, and maintained in accordance with the requirements of applicable Berkeley Lab specifications and standards, California Building  and Fire  Codes and all applicable NFPA Codes  and Standards. Inspection, testing, and maintenance information is found in Protective Services Standard Operating Guidelines.

1. Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguisher training is required to work on projects where open flame, ignition source, or spark-creating devices are used, and is available through Protective Services. This training is monitored for completion through the WPC process of EHS.
 
Table 12-1 provides a summary of the recommended types of portable fire extinguishers. For guidance on selecting the proper fire extinguisher, contact Protective Services.

Table 12-1. Effective Fire Extinguishers for Burning Materials


Burning Materials

Extinguisher

Ordinary combustible materials, such as cellulose products, wood, paper, cloth, plastics, or rubber

Water, multipurpose dry chemical (Class A:B:C)

Flammable or combustible liquids, such as oils, gasoline, alcohol, and solvents

Clean agent or dry chemical (Class B:C or Class A:B:C)

Energized electrical equipment or wiring 

Clean agent or dry chemical (Class B:C or Class A:B:C)

 Water reactive: Burning magnesium, lithium, thorium, uranium, potassium, or sodium metals

G-1 powder (special graphite),  Met-L-X (sodium chloride), or Lith-X

Pyrophoric chemicals

Class D (for burning metals) with Class A:B:C nearby for other combustibles

Fires in cooking appliances involving combustible media (oils and fats)

Wet chemical (Class K)

Fire extinguishers are inspected monthly and serviced annually. Any used or damaged extinguishers should be reported to Protective Services. More information on fire extinguishers can be found in Protective Services, Standard Operating Guidelines, Fire Extinguisher Maintenance, 07.11.001.103.01, latest revision.

2. Automatic Sprinklers

Most buildings at Berkeley Lab have automatic sprinkler systems. The sprinklers contain a heat-sensitive element that, upon being sufficiently heated, opens that sprinkler, starting water flow. This flow in the piping is detected by the fire alarm system, which transmits an alarm signal to the Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center (ACRECC). Popular belief perpetuated by television and movies holds that when one fire sprinkler head is activated, it triggers a building’s entire fire sprinkler system. Although there are fire sprinkler systems designed to operate this way, most systems at Berkeley Lab do not. In many cases, only one fire sprinkler will operate to control a fire.

When automatic fire sprinkler heads are installed less than 7 feet above the finished floor or are subjected to mechanical abuse, sprinkler guards shall be installed to prevent damage.

Heat inadvertently applied to a fire sprinkler head can activate the sprinkler without the presence of fire.

General safety precautions for fire sprinkler systems are:

— KEEP NORMAL HEAT SOURCES AWAY FROM SPRINKLERS.
— AVOID OBSTRUCTING SPRINKLERS AND ALTERING THE SPRINKLERS’ SPRAY PATTERNS. DO NOT PLACE MATERIAL OR FURNITURE NEAR SPRINKLERS.
— FOLLOWING NFPA 13, ALLOW CLEARANCE BELOW SPRINKLERS, TYPICALLY 18 INCHES.
— MAINTAIN A MINIMUM CLEARANCE OF 3 FEET (91 CM) AT ALL TIMES AROUND SPRINKLER SYSTEM CONTROL VALVES, TO ALLOW FOR FIRE DEPARTMENT ACCESS.

3. Fire and Life Safety Systems

All buildings at Berkeley Lab are equipped with a means of notifying the building occupants in the event of a fire. This typically uses a combination of audible fire alarm bells, horns, and speakers as well as visual strobes. These devices are activated by either an automatic detector or a manual pull box. In some cases, automatic detectors also activate automatic extinguishing systems. Some buildings may also be equipped with a Mass Notification System (MNS). The concept of an MNS is to provide building occupants with additional information in the event of an emergency. This may include voice notification of the event as well as scrolling textual messages. An MNS can also be used in non-fire emergencies as well.

The Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center (ACRECC) will dispatch firefighters to the scene when an alarm is activated.

Evacuation procedures for each building and operating area as well as personnel emergency actions for each building are published in the respective Building Emergency Plan. Upon activation of a fire alarm, personnel are expected to evacuate the building in accordance with the Building Emergency Plan. In approved instances, EHS and the Fire Marshal’s Office may approve the connection of toxic gas alarms, oxygen alarms, refrigerant leak alarms, etc., to the fire alarm system in strict compliance with NFPA 72: The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.

4. Fire Doors and Dampers

Self-closing and automatic fire doors and dampers are located at strategic points within fire-rated wall assemblies. Automatic fire doors close and latch to block the spread of smoke and fire when automatic detectors are activated. A damper is a door in an air-handling system that closes to prevent smoke and/or fire from being spread throughout the system.

Fire doors must be tested and maintained in good repair at all times. Never block or otherwise prevent fire doors from functioning. Offices and work areas equipped with self-closing fire doors should remain closed. Doors may be held open if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Self-closing office doors may only be left open when the offices are occupied. Doors must be closed when the occupants leave for an extended period of time (i.e., several meetings away, lunch hour, etc.) and when the office is vacated at the end of the workday.
  2. In the event of an alarm or emergency, or an office is left unattended, the door stop must be removed, and the self-closing office doors closed immediately.

Note: The doors listed below are not subject to the allowances above and must be kept closed at all times, unless provided with an approved, magnetic hold-open device connected to the fire alarm system:

  1. Doors to stairwells
  2. Doors to elevator lobbies
  3. Doors to labs
  4. Doors to hazardous materials areas

If you are unsure, fire doors may be identified by the label in the door jamb.
This policy is intended to maintain the effectiveness and proper operation of the fire-safety systems designed into Berkeley Lab buildings.

5. Fire Hydrants

The Facilities Division, in cooperation with the Fire Marshal’s Office and the fire suppression subcontractor, maintains the Berkeley Lab main site fire hydrants for emergency use. These must have unobstructed access and be in good working order at all times. Vehicles must not be parked within three feet of a fire hydrant in all directions. The Fire Department must not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access to fire-protection equipment or fire hydrants.

Fire hydrants are tested and inspected annually by the Facilities Division and the Fire Marshal’s Office per National Fire Protection Association and California Fire Code requirements. To use a fire hydrant on a temporary basis, obtain authorization in writing from the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Employees or contractors who have temporary authorization to use a fire hydrant must:

 

Work Process D. Impairments to Fire Protection Equipment

Berkeley Lab, through its Facilities and Protective Services Divisions, provides a written system for the notification, identification, reporting, scheduling, tracking, and evaluation of impairments to the fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, specialized fire protection systems, and egress systems.

Reporting of impairments is coordinated with the Inspection Testing and Maintenance (ITM) section of the Facilities Division, and the Impairment Coordinator within the Fire Marshal’s Office of the Protective Services Division.

Tracking of all work, inspection, and the return of fire and life safety systems to operational status is verified by the Impairment Coordinator, or designated representative.

More information on the Impairment process and procedures can be found in Protective Services, Standard Operating Guidelines, Fire Protection Impairment Process for the Berkeley Lab, 07.11.001.009, latest revision.

 

Work Process E. Building Emergency Plan

The Fire Marshal’s Office collaborates with Building Managers, Building Safety Officers, Building Emergency Team members, the EHS Division, and the Facilities Division to develop Building Emergency Plans for each building owned or leased by Berkeley Lab. These are written in accordance with the requirements of the California Fire Code, NFPA Standards, and DOE requirements.

 

Work Process F. Hot Work Permits

Berkeley Lab's program to reduce fire hazards includes a Hot Work Permit system. Permits are required for any operation (i.e., hot work) that produces flames, sparks, or heat, including but not limited to the following tasks:

Note: Hot Work Permits are generally not required for:

Hot Work Permits are documents issued by the Fire Marshal or designated representative. Berkeley Lab’s Hot Work Permit process shall be strictly followed for all hot work on Berkeley Lab property and buildings leased off site. For other than emergency hot work operations, all hot work permit requests must be made a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the planned hot work activities. More information on Hot Work Permits can be found in Protective Services, Standard Operating Guidelines, Hot Work Permits and Designated Areas, 07.11.001.108, latest revision.

 

Work Process G. Use of Combustibles

Note: Employees should note that the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan and multiple chapters within the Berkeley Lab ES&H Manual (PUB-3000) have specific requirements for combustibles depending on the process or research involved. Employees must be aware of these requirements in their work.

Combustible materials are divided into five types or classes, described in the following paragraphs:

1. Class A Combustibles

Class A combustibles include common combustible materials (e.g., wood, paper, cloth, rubber, and plastics) that can act as fuel and are found in nonspecialized operating areas (e.g., offices).
To handle Class A combustibles safely:

The following fire-extinguishing agents are approved for Class A combustibles:

Please Note: Halon extinguishing agents are no longer approved for use at Berkeley Lab. The EHS Division and the Fire Marshal’s Office can assist researchers and scientists in identifying specialized clean agent fire extinguishing systems depending on the research and science involved.

2. Class B Combustibles

Class B combustibles include flammable and combustible liquids (e.g., solvents, oils, greases, tars, oil-based paints, and lacquers), flammable gases, and flammable aerosols, such as those found in spray cans. Employees should be familiar with the requirements of the Pressure Safety and Cryogenics program and the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan in the Berkeley Lab ES&H Manual (PUB-3000).

Technically, flammable and combustible liquids do not burn. They can, however, generate sufficient quantities of vapors to form ignitable vapor-air mixtures.

The flash point of a liquid is defined as the minimum temperature at which the liquid gives off sufficient vapor to form an ignitable mixture with the air near its surface or within the vessel used.

Generally, the lower the flash point of a liquid, the greater the liquid’s risk of fire and explosion. Many flammable and combustible liquids also pose health hazards, as discussed in the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan.

Class B combustibles must be properly identified, labeled, handled, and stored. Contact the EHS Division and the Fire Marshal’s Office for assistance. Use of Class B combustibles requires compliance with the Berkeley Lab Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan at the Berkeley Lab.

Safety precautions for using Class B combustibles:

3. Class C Combustibles

Class C combustibles involve equipment that is energized via an electrical source, such as an electrical panel, switchgear, and information-technology equipment.

The following fire-extinguishing agents are approved for Class C combustibles:

4. Class D Combustibles

Class D combustibles are combustible metals such as magnesium, thorium, potassium, or sodium metals. Pyrophorics are also classified as Class D combustibles. The Chemical Hygiene and Safety Planof the ES&H Manual (PUB-3000) provides specific requirements for the use of pyrophorics at Berkeley Lab. Class D combustibles present special fire-safety and fire extinguishing challenges. For guidance on safely handling combustible metals and selecting proper extinguishing agents, contact the Industrial Hygiene group of the EHS Division.

5. Class K Combustibles

Class K combustibles are cooking media, such as vegetable or animal oils and fats. This class of combustibles requires extinguishing agents that are specifically listed and labeled for use on Class K fires. For guidance on selecting a proper extinguishing agent, contact the Fire Marshal, Protective Services.

Class K fire extinguishers are required within 30 feet of all cooking appliances. In addition to Class K extinguishers, a fire extinguisher with proper ABC rating must be provided for the other area hazards.

 

Work Process H. Hazardous Materials

The general use of hazardous materials is governed by the California Fire Code (CFC) Chapter 50;  NFPA 400, Hazardous Materials Code; and DOE Standard 1066-2012. Hazard-specific Codes and Standards include 19 additional chapters in the CFC and various NFPA Codes. These additional hazards include but are not limited to: oxidizers, water reactives, pyrophorics, corrosives, toxics, and flammable and combustible liquids, etc.

The Gas Safety program of the ES&H Manual (PUB-3000) covers hazardous gases. For more information on hazardous liquids and solids, refer to the PUB-3000 Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan.

1. Maximum Allowable Quantities (MAQs)

Hazardous materials are allowed to be stored and used in Berkeley Lab buildings with certain restrictions in overall quantity. In addition to maximum container size, the various regulatory Codes and Standards allow for a “maximum allowable quantity” in a building or area not designed as a high-hazard Group H occupancy classification. Contact Protective Services for more information about occupancy classifications.

When the MAQ of a chemical is exceeded, the area is required to be reclassified as a Group H occupancy, which adds significant safety protection measures which may include fire-rated walls and doors, drainage/containment of chemicals in the case of spills, increased exhaust capabilities, explosion venting and control, specialized electrical equipment including emergency power, and increased fire sprinkler protection.

There are two major categories of hazardous materials:

Increases to MAQ Limits

The overall limits of MAQs can be increased in certain cases, such as the storage or use of hazardous materials in exhausted enclosures, storage cabinets approved for hazardous materials, and fire sprinkler locations in buildings. Contact Protective Services and EHS for additional information.

2. Chemical Management System (CMS)

At Berkeley Lab, chemicals are tracked through the Chemical Management System (CMS). This system helps maintain an inventory of all chemicals and their overall quantities used at Berkeley Lab. The CMS allows EHS and Protective Services to evaluate MAQs for every on-site and off-site laboratory. Chemical users are required to enter their chemicals and usage into CMS prior to use. Additionally, after chemicals have been exhausted, they must be removed from CMS in order to ensure an accurate inventory. When users approach an MAQ limit, both the owner and EHS receive notification and can review appropriate steps necessary.

Please visit the CMS for more information.

3. Separation of Incompatible Materials

In order to prevent the hazards of incompatible materials reacting, separation must be maintained between various groups of hazardous materials. The safest measure to separate incompatible chemicals is to store them in appropriate hazardous-material cabinets, such as a flammable-material storage cabinet, or a corrosive-material storage cabinet. Flammable liquid cabinets are usually yellow or red, and corrosive material cabinets are usually blue. See examples below:

Typical incompatible chemical families or properties are listed below. For a greater list of incompatible chemicals, see Appendix E for a more detailed (though not all-inclusive) list:

4. Oxidizing and Flammable Gases

These gases are addressed in more detail in the Gas Safety program of the Berkeley Lab ES&H Manual (PUB-3000). Safety protocols for the sizes and separation of cylinders of these specific gases are also discussed below.

Separation of Cylinders

In accordance with NFPA 55, Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code; and the ES&H Manual Gas Safety program, flammable and oxidizing gases must be separated by one of the following measures:

Maximum Size of Cylinders

Cylinders of flammable and oxidizing gases are limited to a maximum of 250 standard cubic feet (scf) by NFPA Chapter 55.

 

Work Process I. Use of Portable Heating Devices

Portable heating devices include portable electric space heaters, coffee pots, hot plates, and other such devices. Portable heating devices may only be used when there is no chance of injury or fire occurring from their use. This applies to both Berkeley Lab–provided and personally owned devices used within Berkeley Lab spaces on site and Berkeley Lab–leased spaces off site. Given the widespread use of portable space heaters at Berkeley Lab, detailed information regarding their safe and effective use is included below:

1. Portable Space Heaters

Only electric space heaters are allowed in Berkeley Lab buildings. Space heaters using fuels (propane, kerosene, or solid fuel) are not allowed in operational buildings. On occasion, fuel-fired space heaters are allowed during base build construction of new buildings; however, they require special review and approval by Protective Services and EHS Industrial Hygiene (IH). Contact Protective Services and IH for more information.
To ensure the safe use of portable electric space heaters, the following conditions are required:

Minimum Safety Features
Use
Placement

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Protective Services or the Electrical Safety Officer.

2. Coffee Pots and Hot Plates

Use
Placement

3. Barbecues and Other Flames Used for Cooking (e.g., Sterno)

 

Work Process J. Use of Mechanical Equipment and Fan Rooms

Mechanical equipment rooms house boilers, blowers, compressors, filters, and other electrical equipment. These rooms must be separated from other areas of a building by fire-resistant walls and doors.

Fan rooms house ventilation equipment (e.g., dampers and automatic shutdown equipment). This equipment is often interlocked with a building's smoke and fire detectors.

Safety precautions for mechanical equipment spaces and fan rooms include:

 

Work Process K. Construction/Renovation

All work related to buildings and their infrastructures must be reviewed and approved by the Fire Marshal. Whether the work is prepared in-house by the Facilities Division or by outside Architects/Engineers, the design package, including drawings and specifications at various stages, must be submitted to the Fire Marshal’s Office. Upon Fire Protection Engineer (FPE) review, a written comment sheet along with marked up drawings and documents with the Fire Marshal’s review showing the review status will be returned to the Facilities Project Manager (PM) for action. Upon completion, the design must be approved by the Fire Marshal and other Berkeley Lab representatives, as defined in the Design and Construction Management Procedures Manual.

During project construction, the Office of the Fire Marshal inspects the project periodically for the method and materials of construction of the building as related to fire-and-life safety, fire detection, and fire suppression systems. The Office of the Fire Marshal generates a list of deficiencies and submits it to the Facilities PM for action. Upon construction completion, the Office of the Fire Marshal witnesses the testing and commissioning of the fire-and-life safety systems. Any deficiencies found during the test are identified to the Facilities PM in writing. Upon completion and verification of all deficiencies, the Fire Marshal will then issue final approval granting occupancy.

All construction projects will be required to provide fire- and emergency equipment access as well as a water supply for fire protection during construction.

 

Work Process L. Use of Emergency Lighting

The Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 101) and Chapter 10 of the California Fire and Building Codes require emergency lighting within facilities at the following areas:

Emergency lighting that is not required by the code may be installed in areas where egress would be hazardous during a power failure.

Two types of power sources for emergency lighting fixtures satisfy the code specifications:

Use only rechargeable batteries in battery-operated emergency lights. The battery rating must be sufficient to provide illumination for 90 minutes if normal lighting fails. When emergency lighting is provided by a generator, the delay must not be greater than 10 seconds if provided by an emergency generator or 60 seconds if provided by a standby power generator, in accordance with NFPA 110 “Standard for Emergency and Standby Power.”

Emergency lighting may come in several forms. In some areas, existing overhead lights are either on a standby power circuit, or they may have a battery ballast within the fixture. Other types of emergency lights are more conspicuous, such as the “bug eye” types shown below:


More information on inspection, testing, and maintenance of emergency lighting can be found in Facilities, Standard Operating Procedures, Emergency Lighting and Exit Sign Inspection, Testing and Maintenance, FPP-003, latest revision.

 

Work Process M. Use of Exit Signs

The California Fire Code, California Building Code, and the Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 101) require that approved exit signs be provided in specific locations in buildings to designate the means of egress from the buildings. The codes specify the minimum size, graphics, power supply, visibility, and conditions for installing exit signs.

Often times, exit signs may include emergency lighting fixtures in the same appliance. These combination appliances may look like the ones below:

Requirements for exit signs:

Doors, passages, or stairways that are not exits but could be mistaken as such must be identified by a posted sign on the door stating: NOT AN EXIT or NO EXIT.

More information on inspection, testing, and maintenance of emergency lighting can be found in Facilities, Standard Operating Procedures, Emergency Lighting and Exit Sign Inspection, Testing and Maintenance, FPP-003, latest revision.

 

Work Process N. Egress Path Markings

Egress path markings (e.g., arrows or stripping) on floors or walls may be necessary to clearly identify exit routes in certain Berkeley Lab facilities. Markings should be luminous or phosphorescent to be identifiable in case of power failure.

 

Work Process O. Exit Corridors

NFPA 101, Life Safety Code; the California Building Code; and California Fire Code require that buildings designed for human occupancy maintain unobstructed exits to facilitate prompt evacuation of building occupants and access for emergency personnel.

NEVER USE EXIT CORRIDORS FOR:

 

Work Process P. Use of Lockers and Cabinets

In the past, installing metal lockers and cabinets in exit corridors was permitted as long as the lockers and cabinets complied with specific location rules, design characteristics, and storage limitations. These storage practices are no longer considered safe and are in violation of fire-and-life safety codes. The Facilities Division and Protective Services are implementing a phased plan to remove existing storage cabinets from exit corridors. To adhere to the new regulations, use the following guidelines:

Note: As the deficiencies below are identified, Building Managers, Safety Officers, and Building Emergency Team Members should contact Facilities and the Fire Marshal’s Office to coordinate the repair or removal of cabinets and lockers.

 

Work Process Q. Use of Seasonal Decorations         

In observance of certain holidays, some Berkeley Lab facilities are temporarily decorated with trees and candles. The following precautions shall be taken to ensure safety.

1. Decorative Trees

2. Candles

 

Work Process R. Fire Protection Staff Development and Training

Fire and Life Safety, Fire Prevention staff and Systems Personnel receive required training on three year intervals as national and state codes are adopted or amended. Additional training is required for fire alarm and fire sprinkler system technology specific to the types installed at LBNL. More information on fire prevention personnel-specific training can be found in Protective Services, Standard Operating Guidelines, Fire Protection Systems Administrative Training Procedures, 07.11.001.004, latest revision.

 

Work Process S. Smoking

Smoking is strictly controlled at Berkeley Lab in order to reduce the potential for fires and ensure the overall health of Berkeley Lab employees. In accordance with the Berkeley Lab Nonsmoking Policy, smoking is only allowed in designated areas. The Failure to use designated smoking areas and approved ash containers has led to Fire Department callouts and building evacuations at Berkeley Lab. In order to prevent fires and false Fire Department callouts, Berkeley Lab personnel must follow the guidelines below:

1. Designated Smoking Areas

Designated Smoking Areas are shown here. Smoking is prohibited in any other location at the Berkeley Lab main site.

Signs are posted at each Designated Smoking Area on the Berkeley Lab main site to help employees and visitors locate the proper area. A Designated Smoking Area sign (as shown below) denotes these locations:


                                                               

12.8 Source Requirements

Other Driving Requirements

12.9 Related ES&H Manual (PUB-3000) Programs

12.10 References

12.11 Useful Links

Security settings may prevent hyperlink shortcuts from being accessed directly from this ES&H Manual (PUB-3000) program. Exact Web addresses are included below for copying and pasting into a browser.

12.12 Appendices

Appendix A. Maximum Sizes of Containers for Combustible and Flammable Liquids
Appendix B. Maximum Allowable Quantities — Indoor Storage of Physical Hazard Chemicals
Appendix C. Maximum Allowable Quantities — Indoor Storage of Health Hazard Chemicals
Appendix D. FHA/FPA Checklist
Appendix E. Examples of Incompatible Chemicals

Appendix A. Maximum Sizes of Containers for Combustible and Flammable Liquidsa

Container Typeb

Flammable Liquids

Combustible Liquids

Class IAd

Class IBc

Class IC

Class II

Class III

Glass

1 pt

1 qt

1 gal

1 gal

5 gal

Metals (other than DOT drums) or approved plastic

1 gal

5 gal

5 gal

5 gal

5 gal

Safety cans

2 gal

5 gal

5 gal

5 gal

5 gal

Metal drums
(DOT specifications)

60 gal
(Labsd 1 gal)

60 gal
(Labsd 5 gal)

60 gal
(Labsd— 5 gal)

60 gal

60 gal

Approved portable tanks

660 gal

660 gal

660 gal

660 gal

660 gal

Notes:

  1. Taken from NFPA 30 (Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code.)  Definitions follow this NFPA 30 standard: Class I liquids are flammable, and Class II Class III liquids are combustible;  Class 1A liquids have a flash point (FP) below 73°F, and boiling point (BP) below 100°F; Class 1B – FP below 73°F, and BP at or above 100°F; Class 1C – FP at or above 73°F, but less than 100°F (BP not addressed); Class II – FP at or above 100°F, but below 140°F; Class III – FP at or above 140°F.
  2. Container exemptions: medicines, beverages, foodstuffs, cosmetics, and other common consumer items, provided as such. 
  3. Items have been packaged according to commonly accepted practices for retail sales. Class IA and Class IB liquids may be stored in glass containers (capacity ≤1 gal) if the required liquid purity (such as ACS analytical reagent grade or higher) would be affected by storage in metal containers, or if the liquid can cause excessive corrosion of the metal container.
  4. Laboratories within the scope of NFPA 45, Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals.

 

Appendix E. Examples of Incompatible Chemicals

This list is not intended to include all chemical incompatibilities; however, it may be used to provide general guidance of common chemical incompatibilities. Always consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the manufacturer’s recommended safety precautions for any chemical being used.

Chemical

Incompatible With

Acetic acid

Chromic acid, nitric acid, hydroxyl compounds, ethylene glycol, perchloric acid, peroxides, permanganates

Acetylene

Chlorine, bromine, copper, fluorine, silver, mercury acetone, concentrated nitric and sulfuric acid mixtures

Alkali and alkaline earth metals (aluminum, magnesium, calcium, lithium, sodium, potassium)

Water, carbon tetrachloride or other chlorinated hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, halogens

Ammonia (anhydrous)

Mercury, chlorine, calcium hypochlorite, iodine, bromine, hydrofluoric acid (anhydrous)

Ammonium nitrate  

Acids, powdered metals, flammable liquids, chlorates, nitrates, sulfur, finely divided organic combustible materials

Aniline

Nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, arsenical materials, any reducing agent

Azides

Acids

Bromine

See “chlorine.”

Calcium oxide

Water

Carbon (activated)

Calcium hypochlorite, all oxidizing agents

Carbon tetrachloride

Sodium

Chlorates

Ammonium salts, acids, powdered metals, sulfur, finely divided organic or combustible materials

Chromic acid

Acetic acid, naphthalene, camphor, glycerol, alcohol, flammable liquids

Chlorine

Ammonia, acetylene, butadiene, butane, methane, propane (other petroleum gases), hydrogen, sodium carbide, benzene, finely divided metals, turpentine

Chlorine dioxide

Ammonia, methane, phosphine, hydrogen sulfide, copper Acetylene, hydrogen peroxide

Cumene hydroperoxide

Acids (organic or inorganic)

Cyanides

Acids

Flammable liquids

Ammonium nitrate, chromic acid, hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, sodium peroxide, halogens

Fluorine

All other chemicals

Hydrocarbons

Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, chromic acid, sodium peroxide, hydrocyanic acid, nitric acid, alkali

Hydrofluoric acid

Ammonia

Hydrogen peroxide

Copper, chromium, iron, most metals or their salts, alcohols, acetone, organic materials, aniline, nitromethane, combustible materials

Hydrogen sulfide

Fuming nitric acid, oxidizing gases

Hypochlorites

Acids, activated carbon

Iodine

Acetylene, ammonia, hydrogen

Mercury

Acetylene, fulminic acid, ammonia

Nitrates

Sulfuric acid

Nitric acid

Acetic acid, aniline, chromic acid, hydrocyanic acid, hydrogen sulfide, (concentrated) flammable liquids, flammable gases, copper, brass, any heavy metals

Nitrites

Acids

Nitroparaffins

Inorganic bases, amine

Oxalic acid

Silver, mercury

Oxygen

Oils, grease, hydrogen, flammable liquids, solids, or gases

Perchloric acid

Acetic anhydride, bismuth and its alloys, alcohol, paper, wood, grease, oils

Peroxides, organic

Acids (organic or mineral). Avoid friction. Store cold

Phosphorous (white)

Air, oxygen, alkalies, reducing agents

Potassium

Carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water

Potassium chlorate

Sulfuric and other acids

Potassium perchlorate

Sulfuric and other acids

Potassium

Glycerol, ethylene glycol, benzaldehyde, sulfuric acid, permanganate

Selenides

Reducing agents

Silver

Acetylene, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, ammonium compounds, fulminic acid

Sodium

Carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water sodium nitrite, ammonium nitrate, and other ammonium salts

Sodium peroxide

Ethyl or methyl alcohol, glacial acetic acid, acetic anhydride, benzaldehyde, carbon disulfide, glycerin, ethylene glycol, ethyl acetate, methyl acetate, furfural

Sulfides

Acids

Sulfuric acid

Potassium chlorate, potassium perchlorate, potassium permanganate (similar compounds of light metals such as sodium, lithium)

Tellurides

Reducing agent

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