Fire Safety for Churches FAQ Q. Why are churches targets for arsonists? A. Buildings are often unoccupied and activity schedules are predictable, security systems are lacking, and arsonists may target churches because of their beliefs. Q. Which statements are true concerning heating systems and combustible storage? A. Combustible items should be stored no closer than two feet from the heating units, and if combustible materials have to be stored within the building, the best way to prevent a fire is by permanently relocating the material to a closet or storage room that is free of any type of heating equipment. Q. An Electrical Preventative Maintenance (EPM) program: A. Ensures that the electrical apparatus and equipment is clean, cool, and dry and the electrical connections are tight, should be completed at a minimum once every three years, and should be conducted by a licensed electrical contractor Q. All electrical systems have a limited service life. At what age is there a greater chance of electrical system failure? A. 30 years or older Q. Electrical maintenance and repair should be completed by: A. Licensed electrical contractors Q. If your church's electrical system is protected by fuses, what precautions should you take to make sure the system is safe? A. A licensed electrical contractor should be hired to inspect the system ensuring its safety, type "S" tamper-proof fuses should be installed for all screw-in fuse panels to prevent over-fusing of circuits, and fake fuses (inserting copper or metal tubes) should never be used in cartridge style fuse panels. Q. Why is "Do-it-Yourself" temporary wiring NOT recommended? A. There has been no testing conducted by a nationally recognized testing laboratory ensuring its safety and it is a violation of local and national electrical codes. An example is wiring extension cords directly to electrical service panels. Q. Why are missing covers on junction boxes, light switches and electrical outlets a concern? A. Exposes the energized circuits which can create an arc flash and electrocution hazard and allows dust, dirt and debris a path of entry which could cause an arc or short circuit Q. Circuit breaker panels should: A. Not have any openings in the circuit breaker panel and be indexed to allow for quick and easy identification of the area served by each breaker Q. Housekeeping rules for electrical equipment include: A. Electrical equipment should be kept dry and free of dust and dirt, and storage of items should be no closer than thirty six inches from electrical equipment Q. What is the best way to avoid electrical surge damage during or after a storm or power outage? A. Unplug equipment and turn switches off Q. What type of filters should be installed for the hood in a commercial kitchen? A. Baffle style Q. If commercial cooking operations create grease laden vapors, what two fire protection components should be installed for the cooking equipment? A. A hood and duct ventilation system and an automatic fire extinguishing system Q. What are some of the circumstances that can affect automatic sprinkler head performance? A. Corroded or painted sprinkler heads, recalled or out-of-date sprinkler heads installed, and inadequate clearance to sprinkler heads and storage materials Q. What precautions should be taken when using candles? A. Never leave a candle unattended, don't place candles close to combustibles. and keep candle wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch. Q. To reduce the chances of fire from the storage and use of flammable and combustible liquids: A. Storage should be done in a UL-listed metal fire cabinet.