Although most people think about residential fire prevention, we also spend a lot of time at work. Therefore, it is really important to also consider workplace fire safety and prevention. Our communities in Arlington, Frisco, and other surrounding neighborhoods in Texas have hundreds of valuable business that we should help protect. In fact, there were over 200 fatalities in The United States last year due to workplace fires. Add to that the loss of building equipment, infrastructure, and business, it is a good idea to understand workplace fire safety.
Here are 12 tips to help businesses avoid fire safety issues.
- Get Organized
It’s a good idea to keep up on workplace housekeeping. Clutter provides fuel for fires and can prevent you from accessing to exits and emergency equipment. Be sure to account for all flammable items and to clean up possible fire hazards as you go.
- Designated Smoking Areas
Your workplace should have a designated area for smoking outside away from the building. You should also check that smoking materials are extinguished safely. You should never smoke in a storeroom, chemical storage area, or anywhere inside the workplace..
- Fire Extinguishers
Having fire extinguishers on every floor is a standard fire safety practice. Employees need to be aware of the location of all fire extinguishers in the workplace. It would be best to use multipurpose extinguishers. They can douse most small fires easily without shorting out electronics. Be sure to go over with your colleagues how to properly hold and use an extinguisher.
- Electrical Hazards
You should always report electrical hazards to the proper personal. There should only be one extension cord per outlet. It would also be best if you follow the recommendations for maximum wattage for power strips. Avoid overloading the power strips with many wires and plugs cluttered around one outlet.
- Access to Control Panels
There should be easy access to electrical control panels so that in an emergency the electricity can be shut off quickly in case of a fire. Be sure that everyone knows where the control panels are located and how to properly shut them off.
Machinery needs to be maintained to prevent possible overheating and friction sparks. Follow all safety precautions and procedures for all pieces of machinery and equipment.
- Sprinkler Systems and Smoke Detectors
When arranging furniture, equipment, and other office materials, be aware of sprinklers, firefighting equipment, and emergency exits. Do not block any of these. You should keep an eye on clearances when you are stacking materials. You should also test the sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least once a year.
- Chemical Safety
Chemicals need to be used and stored safely. You should read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to find their flammability and other potential fire hazards. There needs to be adequate ventilation where and when you are using and storing them.
- Waste Control and Storage
Try to control the build-up of flammable and combustible waste materials and residues. You don’t want them to make a fire emergency worse. Clean areas in the workplace that have dangerous wastes and residues on a daily basis.
- Prevent Ignition
Take all precautions to prevent ignition in all potentially explosive atmospheres. This includes anywhere containing:
- Flammable liquid vapors
- Fine particles
You should use non-sparking tools and control static electricity in these areas.
- Evacuation Plan
You should have annual fire drills to keep employees up to date on workplace fire safety protocols. Larger buildings need to have a fire evacuation plan posted in several points around the workplace. Elevators should never be included in an evacuation plan. Use the stairs instead. You should develop a detailed evacuation plan for any employees that need additional assistance in an emergency. Emergency exits need to have neon-regulation signs.
- Contact Info
Employees need to have an emergency contact list with phone numbers in case of an emergency. People tend to panic in an extreme situation. This is why the basics, like the company address, phone number, and floor plan, should be posted.
It is better to use prevention than to be faced with the devastating effects of a fire. Try avoiding catastrophe in the first place or at least minimize any possible damage. The fact that fire emergencies and disasters can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere, is a simple truth. If your business suffers fire damage, give Mr. Restore a call. We will help you get your business up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible.