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School of Public Health
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School of Public Health


Safety Training & Emergency Planning

Please review the OSHA Standards for more details on fire safety and emergency planning.

OSHA standards requirements of all employers:

  • Proper fire exits
  • Fire fighting equipment
  • Emergency plans
  • Employee training

Accordion Content

Learn more about:

  • Housekeeping procedures must be in place to prevent the accumulation of flammable and combustible waste materials. Materials that can be easily ignited, such as piles of swept hair, can cause large, fast-spreading fires and generate dense and/or toxic smoke, so they must be properly stored or cleaned up. Large amounts of paper and storage boxes can also pose a fire hazard. Equipment producing heat such as blow driers and flatirons must be properly maintained and kept clean of accumulations of flammable residues; flammables are not to be stored close to these types of equipment. Appliances should be turned off when not in use.

    Fire detection and suppression systems
    Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers must be appropriately located. Contact the local fire department to determine fire alarm/detector requirements for the building; these should be on every floor of the building on the ceilings or high on walls. Smoke alarms and detectors should be tested at least once a month, regularly maintained and replaced every 10 years (even if they are hard wired, requiring an electrician).

    Automatic sprinkler systems should be considered. When properly installed, designed and regularly maintained, they are one of the most effective ways to protect against fires. Fire hoses and fire resistant doors and walls are also important protective measures to consider.

    Fire extinguishers
    The proper use of a fire extinguisher requires training on how to safely and effectively use and maintain one. Without maintenance, it may not be usable during an emergency. Know where to locate fire extinguishers in your salon! Make sure they are easily accessible at all times.

    Before a fire extinguisher is used, it must be decided

    1. What type of extinguisher is needed? The most commonly needed extinguishers in salons will include:

    Class A extinguishers: put out fires in ordinary combustible materials such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper and many plastics. This includes hair clippings and wigs which can be flammable.

    Class B extinguishers: used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints. Many products used in salons are flammable, particularly aerosols.

    Class C extinguishers: suitable for use on fires involving appliances, tools or other
    equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in. This will include fires started by blow driers, flat irons, curling irons and any other electrical tool. Make sure to turn off and unplug appliances when not in use.

    There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers - such as those labeled "B-C" or "A-B-C" - that can be used on two or more of the above type fires.

    2. Is the fire still small enough to try to use a fire extinguisher?

    3. Am I capable of using the fire extinguisher?
    Remember the word PASS when using a fire extinguisher:

    1. Pull the pin
    2. Aim low at base of fire
    3. Squeeze the lever
    4. Sweep nozzle from side to side

    For more information, please go to the U.S. Fire Administration's webpage.

    For checklists about these topics, please refer to the NJ Safe Schools Manual (click here), in particular checklists #7 and #16.

  • For workplaces with more than 10 employees, an emergency action plan must be in writing and available for employees to review. For workplaces with less than 10 employees, these plans can be communicated by word of mouth. These plans must at least include the following:

    Procedures for reporting the emergency Emergency evacuation plans How to account for all employees after evacuation Special duties of designated employees, such as medical tasks Contact information of employees who can explain the plan and provide more information about it to other employees Alarm system to alert employees of what specific emergency actions they need to take Procedures for training employees about the plan Procedures for reviewing the plan when a new employee is hired or the plan is changed

    Fire plans must also have:

    A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard Housekeeping procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials Designated employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires and control of fuel source hazards

    These plans should cover any emergency reasonably expected to happen such as fires, natural disaster, robbery or chemical spills. During an emergency, employees should know what their role is, such as first aid duties or a buddy system to help handicapped employees. Typically, one person for up to 20 employees should act as the reference to provide guidance and instruction during emergencies.

  • Safe zones or refuge areas should be determined in an emergency plan. Maps should be used to help illustrate where emergency exits and safe zones are located. Different types of emergencies will require the use of different evacuation plans, such as exiting the building to a nearby parking lot during a fire or refuge to a different room during a robbery. During an emergency, employees must be made aware of what type of evacuation is required.

    A typical workplace evacuation checklist may include:

    At least two emergency exits Designated evacuation meeting places System to account for every employee once they have evacuated Biannual (or more) evacuation drill practice Ensure fire doors are never blocked or locked Ensure exit routes are free from obstruction and are properly marked