California Fire Prevention laws & safety compliance analysis

California Fire Prevention: What you need to know

California has no specific law or regulation requiring employers to conduct fire drills. However, local fire safety codes may contain additional requirements.

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The California Occupational Safety and Health Act (Cal/OSH Act), through its acceptance of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) standards, requires companies with 10 or more employees to have written fire prevention and emergency exit plans for each workplace. Employers with fewer than 10 employees may communicate the plans orally.

Under Cal/OSHA regulations, most workplaces are required to have a written fire prevention plan that documents the following:

  • Potential fire hazards and their proper handling and storage procedures, potential ignition sources (such as welding and smoking) and control procedures, and the type of fire protection equipment or systems that can control a fire involving them
  • Names or titles of employees responsible for maintaining equipment and systems installed to prevent or control ignitions or fires
  • Names or titles of employees responsible for controlling the accumulation of flammable or combustible waste materials

The fire prevention plan must include training of employees about the fire hazards of the materials and processes to which they are exposed. The plan must be reviewed with each employee at the time they begin working for you and should be available for employee perusal. Employers with 10 or fewer workers can communicate fire protection information orally.

Extinguishers. A separate Cal/OSHA regulation governs employee use of portable fire extinguishers within the workplace, requiring employers to provide approved extinguishers that are accessible to employees. The ...

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