Fire Safety In The Workplace: Tips For Prevention & Action July 25, 2017 – Posted in: Blog – Tags: Fire Safety
A fire is one of the most terrifying and devastating risks in the workplace which can compromise the safety of the workers as well as the public. If not killed immediately, it can cause serious injuries or even casualties and damages to the property. Hence, fire safety is really important in the workplace and should be a priority. Everyone in the workplace should be aware of fire risks and be familiar with the necessary fire safety information and ways on how to prevent fires. If you own or manage a business where others work, fire prevention measures are of the utmost importance. For everyone’s safety in the workplace, here are some fire safety tips you can follow.
Common Fire Hazards in an Office
What is fire safety? Apparently, this is a set of fire safety rules that aim to reduce the damage caused by fire. If you know how to prevent fire, the damages in the workplace and injuries can also be reduced. You should also know the common causes of fire and other important fire safety information.
Most fires are caused by electrical problems such as damaged wiring, faulty equipment, and overloaded plug sockets. Faulty appliances may also cause a fire in the workplace so you should always check if your office equipment and appliances are working properly. Fixing electrical problems immediately should be a part of your workplace fire safety plan.
Overheating can also be a cause of a fire. If you have heaters at the office, never leave them unattended or place them close to flammable objects as they can spark a fire. This is why everyone should know the importance of workplace fire safety.
Some offices have their own kitchen so the workers can cook their own meals. Nonetheless, unattended and unsafe use of cooking appliances can cause a fire. To prevent this, the employer should provide safety in workplace tips. Most workplace messages should be organized so everyone can follow them easily and consistently.
What to Do If There’s a Fire in your Workplace
If there’s a fire in your workplace, it can be really terrifying. A lot of people tend to panic when there’s a fire, especially if they don’t know what to do. This is why everyone should know effective ways to prevent fire. During the fire, workers should follow all safety procedures in the workplace. Panicking should not be an option; instead, follow this fire safety precaution.
Raise the Alarm
If you’re the one who discovered the fire, you should alert everyone in the workplace and activate the fire alarm. If it doesn’t work, raise the alarm until everyone becomes aware of the fire. Some workers won’t know how to prevent fires so you should call the fire safe center right away. The key to effective fire hazard prevention is taking actions and asking for help immediately. Nonetheless, you can use a fire extinguisher but don’t forget to adhere to the fire extinguisher regulations in the workplace.
Once the fire alarm is on, get out of the building immediately. Stay calm until you find your way to the fire exit. When you’re outside the building, let your immediate supervisors know that you are safe.
Get to the Assembly Point
There should be an assembly point that you all agreed upon. That is where you should head to meet your co-workers and check if they are all safe. Wait until the firefighters come and get rid of the fire completely.
If Trapped Inside
When your workplace is crowded or if you don’t keep your calm during a fire, there’s a chance of getting trapped inside the building. Also, there may be obstructions that won’t allow you to get out of the building. If you’re stuck in a room, you should find a way to prevent the smoke from coming inside. You may ask for help if there’s a window and keep calm while waiting for help. If you are nervous, you will find it hard to think clearly so you should find ways on how to keep yourself relaxed. Breathe slowly to reduce your heart rate; this can help you think more clearly while waiting for the firefighters.
While you’re trapped inside, think about the office fire safety tips and try to follow them. Fire and safety don’t always go hand-in-hand but if you can do any fire safety measure, you can save yourself from any possible danger.
Fire Prevention and Preparation Tips for the Workplace
While fires cannot always be avoided, it’s always a good idea to take proactive fire prevention measures. Here’s a look at some office-specific fire prevention tips that are easy to implement:
- Reduce Clutter: Any fire needs fuel, and a cluttered desk or office is full of the type of fuel that helps a raging fire spread. Make sure to reduce the amount of clutter in your office. One simple way to do this is to emphasize electronic communications and the reduction of printed pages.
- Know Capacities: How many people are supposed to be in your office or on a particular floor at a given time? These capacities are assigned for several reasons, one being so that a building can be safely and effectively evacuated in the event of a fire.
- Mind Your Heat: Make sure to keep heat-creating equipment away from walls and any flammable materials. Also, discourage or restrict the use of space heaters in your office.
- Regularly Test: Regularly test your fire alarms and smoke detectors. In the case of an emergency, it will be vital that these tools are working at their best if you are to keep everyone in your office safe.
- Label Exits: Most people in your office most likely use an elevator if it has multiple floors, but it is essential that they know where to find the stairs in case of an emergency. Make sure to clearly label your exits to avoid confusion about the quickest path out of your office in the case of a fire.
- Drill Your Team: When was the last time your office conducted a fire drill? If you cannot remember, it has probably been too long. These are the times when you and your office mates can practice getting to the stairs and quickly getting out of the building in case of fire. It can also be a chance for your office to recognize — and fix — any deficiencies in the evacuation process.
- Easy on the Outlets: No one in your office should overload an electrical outlet. Make sure you are using surge protectors and generally limiting how many plugs you are engaging in one outlet at a time.
- Check Wiring and Cords: Frayed wiring and electrical cords can be a significant source of fire. Examine your wires and cords regularly to make sure there are no issues. If you notice fraying or similar damage, replace the cords as quickly as possible.
- Assign Smoking Areas: You never want anyone smoking near your office. Provide designated smoking areas, and make sure those areas are as far away from the building as possible. Make sure these smoking areas have proper receptacles for disposing of cigarette butts.
Fire safety in the workplace also depends on your having the right fire safety procedures in place and ready to go in case of an emergency. These procedures don’t necessarily need to be complex. First, sound an alarm that everyone can hear. Second, call 9-1-1. Follow the escape route that has been tested through regular drills, and then stay out of the building until it is deemed safe by the fire department. The overall safety of your workplace depends on workplace fire safety plans and procedures. Next stage is fire damage restoration. It is difficult to experience and repair, but several simple things can help you to motivate the process.