Non Smoking Signs
Non Smoking Symbol Posting a no smoking sign beside explosive or flammable materials, such as gas canisters, is a clear necessity.
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Smoking and flammable substances

Smoke-free environments make for a cleaner, safer office or job site where people don't have to worry about the air they’re breathing. In addition to creating a healthy workplace for employees, some companies establish no smoking areas due to the presence of combustible or possibly dangerous substances. Open flames and carelessly discarded cigarette butts or matches have the potential to start fires that can threaten lives, property, and merchandise. In extreme situations, a simple spark can lead to a disaster.

Flammable warnings and chemical hazard signs will alert employees and visitors to the presence of substances that pose a safety risk. These notifications are typically requirements of either state or federal law. Flammable liquids, for example, have a flash point—a temperature where if enough vapor forms it can be ignited—of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Combustible liquids on the other hand, have a flash point above 100°F.

Some of the most commonly found workplace substances that are dangerous to smoke around include:

  • Acetylene, a highly flammable colorless gas

  • Hydrogen, another colorless, odorless gas that can spontaneously ignite

  • Oxygen, an element which promotes combustion in high concentrations

  • Anhydrous ammonia, a flammable gas

  • Compressed gases

  • Spray finishes

In other cases, the workplace environment itself might contain conditions where smoking is dangerous. However small, if the possibility of fire exists, prohibiting smoking is the best way to avoid accidents. Occupational situations with high fire-risk include:

  • Underground construction sites

  • Places where welding and cutting occur

  • Blast areas or anywhere explosives are used

  • Pulp, paper, and paperboard mills

  • Sawmills and logging operations

  • Locations that generate or distribute electric power

  • Grain handling facilities

Data shows that as many as 200 fires happen every day in workplaces across the United States. If help comes too late, those fires are costly in terms of injuries, fatalities, and damaged assets. Estimates place the annual cost of fire damage at more than $2 billion. In 2007, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that three percent of workplace fatalities were due to fires and explosions.

A global overview published in 2000 by the American Health Foundation and Academic Press investigated cigarettes and their relationship to workplace fires. According to the article, "smoking is the leading cause of residential or total fire death in all eight countries with available statistics...smoking causes an estimated 30% of U. S. and 10% of global fire death burdens. Smoking's estimated U.S. and global fire costs were $6.95 and $27.2 billion, respectively, in 1998 U. S. dollars." With numbers like those to consider, the decision to post a no smoking sign is simple math.

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