Fire Prevention

Fire may be caused by flammable liquids, electrical hazards, smoking, hot surfaces, sparks poor housekeeping, and arson. Precautions must be taken to aid in the prevention of fire to reduce the risk of loss of life and property.

Flammable liquids

  • Store flammable liquids only in approved safety cans or storage cabinets. Label the containers and keep them in areas that are well ventilated, away from any heat sources.
  • Clean up spills immediately. For hazardous material spills, contact University of Waterloo Special Constable Service at 519-888-4911 or ext. 22222.
  • Store oily rags in a covered metal container with a self-closing cover and the containers must be emptied daily.
  • Never smoke or light a match near flammable liquids.

Electrical fire hazards

  • Check tools, equipment, extension cords and plugs for worn spots and exposed wires.
  • Keep switch boxes clean and closed.
  • Don't try to use broken power tools or equipment, report them to the supervisor.
  • Repairs on broken power tools should only be performed by competent personnel.
  • Inspect equipment at regular intervals.

Smoking and vaping

  • Smoking and vaping are not permitted in any building on campus.
  • You cannot smoke or vape within 10m of any building entrance or exit.

Hot surfaces

  1. Keep floor clean to prevent falling sparks and hot metal from causing a fire.
  2. Cover wood floors with metal or other non-combustible material.
  3. Use fire retardant curtains.
  4. Turn off and unplug appliances such as soldering irons and coffee pots when workday is over.


  1. Use brass or plastic tools when working with flammable liquids.
  2. Oil motor bearings frequently.
  3. Take precautions with metal to metal or metal to concrete contacts.
  4. Ensure containers for flammable liquids are grounded and bonded to prevent static electricity from causing a spark.


  1. Clean equipment tools and machinery.
  2. Prevent machinery from overheating.
  3. Separate flammable items from flames or hot surfaces.
  4. Repair or replace leaking pipes, tanks or gas lines.
  5. Wipe up spills.
  6. Remove doorstops or wedges used under fire doors.
  7. Report broken fire doors or exits that are blocked or locked.
  8. Keep corridors, exits and stairways clear.
  9. Maintain a clean working area.
  10. Inspect fire fighting equipment regularly (this is done by Plant Operations).


  1. Report suspicious persons to the supervisor or University of Waterloo Special Constable Service.