5 Fire Safety Tips For The Workplace
Organizations are vulnerable to many threats to their staff and overall business operations. Whether it’s a situation of violent weather and natural disasters, power outages, or acts of violence, an organization must deal with the pressures of preparing for the unexpected and protecting its people.
There are few more frightening scenarios when it comes to a workplace than a fire incident.
Scenarios with fire are unpredictable, life-threatening, and challenging to recover from. A significant fire in the workplace can disrupt operations for weeks or even months, not to mention the potential emotional toll it can take on the staff.
Protecting your organization from the threat of fires begins with prevention. Some situations are out of a company’s control (wildfires or arson, for example); however, businesses can help prevent workplace fires with a few extra precautions.
Assessing how your structure, facility, or site carries unique risks is the first step in understanding how to avoid a fire or mitigate the impact if it does occur. Designating a willing staff member (or more) to handle fire safety will help with comprehensive oversight of your organization’s preparedness.
1. Reduce or Eliminate Workplace Fire Hazards
Adequate and effective workplace fire safety identifies and eliminates potential fire hazards before they become an issue. When you and your team know what to watch for, your team can work together to keep your workplace safe.
- Report any electrical hazard you spot. Faulty or lousy wiring is a significant fire hazard. If employees see any electrical hazard in the workplace, they must report it immediately.
- Do not overload outlets and circuits. Only plug-in appliances and electronics that need to be used and use outlets that are not overloaded. Plugging too many items into one circuit can cause the circuit to overload, which is a fire hazard.
- Do not use damaged electrical outlets or cords. If you spot a broken electrical outlet or cable, it’s important to throw it away immediately. Frayed cords and exposed wires can be deadly.
- Ensure proper storage of flammable materials. If your company handles flammable materials, they may need to get stored in a “flammables” cabinet. Certain chemicals cannot be stored by each other, or they may combust.
- Keep combustibles away from electrical equipment. Piled-up trash and recycling are combustible fire hazards. Keep trash, recycling, and other combustibles, like stacks of paper, away from electrical equipment that could cause a fire.
2. Identify & Pay Attention To Fire-Prone Areas
Many workplaces have areas that are more fire-prone than others. Common fire-prone regions include:
- Server or large electrical storage rooms.
- Employee break rooms or kitchens typically include appliances like a toaster, coffee pot, or microwave.
- Laboratories or other designated areas containing hazardous or flammable materials.
Workers must take additional care in these spaces and unplug any electrical equipment or appliances when not in use. Ensure proper storage of flammable materials, as they must be kept away from high-heat environments and not get stored near incompatible items.
3. Keep Emergency Exits Clear & Well-Marked
All emergency exits must always be kept clear. It’s also essential to ensure that emergency exit diagrams get posted and that emergency exit signs are well-lit. Maintain these items accordingly and address any issues undermining visibility immediately.
4. Maintain Your Workplace Fire Detection and Suppression System & Fire Extinguishers
The best defense against workplace fire is your fire detection and suppression system. Your building should have a regular testing and maintenance schedule, depending on the type of fire suppression system installed.
Furthermore, portable fire extinguishers are also an essential piece of equipment. Ensure the appropriate number and type of fire extinguishers are available based on the hazards present in your workplace.
To ensure that a fire extinguisher is in perfect working order, follow these steps:
- Conduct monthly inspections to verify they are charged and ready for use
- Make sure they are not blocked or blocked from visibility
- Provide designated employee training
With proper equipment available and maintained, your workplace will have the hardware and training required to combat a potential incident effectively. Contact the experts at Amptec to help with these steps.
5. Employee Education Of Your Fire Safety Procedures & Evacuation Plan
Every workplace should have a unique fire safety procedure and evacuation plan. It’s crucial to ensure your employees have access to regular, updated fire safety training tailored to the fire hazards present in your workplace. Educate your employees on fire safety guidelines and practice your workplace evacuation plan according to CCOHS’s guidelines.
Your fire safety procedure should include the following steps:
- Designate and assign the roles needed for your workplace fire evacuation plan.
- Schedule regular fire evacuation drills according to your industry and local fire safety requirements.
- Establish an employee check-in location or muster point.
When a business takes the time to educate themselves and observe and inspect their workplace, they can reduce the potential of a fire incident by implementing this workplace fire safety.
The best defense against incidents is taking a proactive approach regarding safety. Amptec gives you the general awareness information you need to build a knowledgeable and positive safety culture around fire safety and prevention.
Contact Amptec Fire & Safety today, and speak with one of our experts about your business’s needs.
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