Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Fire Safety

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Fire Safety Menu


Fire safety is addressed in specific OSHA standards for recordkeeping, general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring, gear certification, and construction. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to fire safety.

OSHA Standards
Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness (29 CFR 1904)
Related Information
Subpart B – Scope 1904.2, Partial exemption for establishments in certain industries
1904.7, General recording criteria
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
Related Information
Subpart E – Exit Routes and Emergency Planning 1910.35, Compliance with alternate exit-route codes
1910.36, Design and construction requirements for exit routes
1910.37, Maintenance, safeguards, and operational features for exit routes
1910.38, Emergency action plans
1910.39, Fire prevention plans
Subpart G – Occupational Health and Environmental Control 1910.94, Ventilation
Subpart H – Hazardous Materials 1910.101, Compressed gases (general requirements)
1910.102, Acetylene
1910.103, Hydrogen
1910.104, Oxygen
1910.106, Flammable liquids
1910.107, Spray finishing using flammable and combustible materials
1910.109, Explosives and blasting agents
1910.110, Storage and handling of liquefied petroleum gases
1910.111, Storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia
1910.119, Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals
1910.120, Hazardous waste operations and emergency response
Subpart L – Fire Protection  
1910.155, Scope, application and definitions applicable to this subpart
1910.156, Fire brigades
1910.157, Portable fire extinguishers
1910.158, Standpipe and hose systems
1910.159, Automatic sprinkler systems
1910.160, Fixed extinguishing systems, general
1910.161, Fixed extinguishing systems, dry chemical
1910.162, Fixed extinguishing systems, gaseous agent
1910.163, Fixed extinguishing systems, water spray and foam
1910.164, Fire detection systems
1910.165, Employee alarm systems
Subpart N – Materials Handling and Storage 1910.178, Powered industrial trucks
Subpart Q – Welding, Cutting and Brazing  
1910.252, General requirements
1910.253, Oxygen-fuel gas welding and cutting
1910.255, Resistance welding
Subpart R – Special Industries 1910.261, Pulp, paper, and paperboard mills
1910.263, Bakery equipment
1910.265, Sawmills
1910.266, Logging operations
1910.269, Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
1910.272, Grain handling facilities
Subpart Z – Toxic and Hazardous Substances  
1910.1200, Hazard communication
Maritime (29 CFR 1915, 1917, 1918)
Related Information
1915 Subpart P – Fire Protection in Shipyard Employment  
1915.501, General provisions
1915.502, Fire safety plan
1915.503, Precautions for hot work
1915.504, Fire watches
1915.505, Fire response
1915.506, Hazards of fixed extinguishing systems on board vessels and vessel sections
1915.507, Land-side fire protection systems
1915.508, Training
1915.509, Definitions applicable to this subpart
1917 Subpart B – Marine Terminal Operations 1917.21, Open fires  
1917.30, Emergency action plans  
1917 Subpart G – Related Terminal Operations and Equipment 1917.152, Welding, cutting and heating (hot work)  
1917.156, Fuel handling and storage  
1917.158, Prohibited operations  
1918 Subpart I – General Working Conditions 1918.100, Emergency action plans

For additional information on OSHA standards for Shipyard Employment, Marine Terminals, and Longshoring, see the OSHA Assistance for the Maritime Industry Page.

Construction (29 CFR 1926)
Related Information
Subpart C – General Safety and Health Provisions 1926.24, Fire protection and prevention  
1926.34, Means of egressn  
1926.35, Employee emergency action plans  
Subpart D – Occupational Health and Environmental Controls 1926.57, Ventilation
1926.64, Process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals. For requirements as they pertain to construction work, follow the requirements in 29 CFR 1910.119.
1926.65, Hazardous waste operations and emergency response
1926.66,Criteria for design and construction of spray booths  
Subpart F – Fire Protection and Prevention  
1926.150, Fire protection
1926.151, Fire prevention
1926.152, Flammable liquids
1926.153, Liquefied petroleum gas (LP-Gas)
1926.154, Temporary heating devices
1926.155, Definitions applicable to this subpart
Subpart H – Materials Handling, Storage, Use, and Disposal 1926.252, Disposal of waste materials  
Subpart J – Welding and Cutting 1926.350, Gas welding and cutting
1926.352, Fire prevention  
Subpart K – Electrical  
1926.405, Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use
1926.408, Special systems
Subpart R – Steel Erection 1926.752, Site layout, site-specific erection plan and construction sequence
Subpart S – Underground Construction, Caissons, Cofferdams, and Compressed Air 1926.800, Underground construction
1926.803, Compressed air. Includes a section on fire protection and prevention
Subpart T – Demolition 1926.850, Preparatory operations
Subpart U – Blasting and the Use of Explosives  
Additional Directives

Note: The "Directives" bullets above link to directives related to each OSHA standard. The directives in this list provide additional information that is not necessarily connected to a specific OSHA standard highlighted on this Safety and Health Topics page.

State Standards

There are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

National Consensus Standards and Recommendations from other Professional Organizations

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

International Code Council (ICC)

  • About ICC: Introduction to the ICC. Includes information about the ICC which initiated a request for recognition of its codes by OSHA in May of 2004, with submission of a document in November of 2005 that details a section by section comparison and analysis of the IBC with OSHA's rules in Subpart E. After review of that document OSHA made a preliminary finding, as noted in an ANPRM, recognizing the IBC and IFC as compliant with the OSHA requirements.
    • Current Code Development Cycle. Includes information about the code development cycle, the National Institute of Standard's (NIST) World Trade Center Recommendations, disaster response, comparison of the International Building Code (IBC) with NFPA 5000, the Building Construction and Safety Code, as well as ICC policies and procedures.

National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)

  • Codes & Standards. Develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. Virtually every building, process, service, design, and installation in society today is affected by NFPA documents.
    • 1, Uniform Fire Code
    • 101, Life Safety Code
    • 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations
    • 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code

Consensus Standards and the General Duty Clause

Using Consensus standards to support a 5(a)(1) Citation:

A consensus standard can be used to show "industry recognition" of a hazard. However, the hazard must be recognized in the employers' industry, not an industry other than the employers' industry.

Section 5(a)(1):

  • is not used to enforce "should" standards.
  • is not used to required abatement methods not required by a specific standard.
  • is not normally used to cover categories of hazards exempted by an OSHA standard.


Section 5(a)(1):

  • Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employee;
  • The general duty provisions can only be used where there is no standard that applies to the particular hazard involved.

Evaluation of Potential 5(a)(1) situations:

  • Employer failed to keep workplace free of hazards to which employees of that employer were exposed.
    • Must involve a serious hazard and employee exposure.
    • Does not specify a particular abatement method - only that the employer keeps the workplace free of serious hazards by any feasible and effective means.
    • The hazard must be reasonably foreseeable.
  • The hazard was recognized.
    • Industry recognition
    • Employer recognition
    • Common-sense recognition
  • The hazard caused or was likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
  • Feasible means to correct the hazard were available.
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