Fire Safety in the Workplace: Tips for Prevention & Action July 25, 2017 – Posted in: Blog – Tags: Fire Safety
A fire in the workplace is nothing to be casual about. If you own or manage a business where others work, fire prevention measures are of the utmost importance. By following these tips, you can ensure that your workplace remains a safe and effective place to get your work done.
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 — and 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.
What to do If a Fire Occurs
Fire safety in the workplace also depends on your having the right fire safety procedures in place and ready to go in case of 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.