Fire prevention within the workplace is an easy topic to put aside for some other day. But it can seem like a big IF. After all, that IF can easily be turned into an awful event without proper training, planning, and practice; only risking the lives of the occupants or employees and the future of your currently smoothly running a business.
Reducing liability, ensuring employee safety, and also minimizing potential property damage one needs to follow the tips for fire prevention in the workplace. One also needs to practice the prevention methods; if anything worst ever takes place you’ll definitely be glad that you took all the possible precautions.
Tips for Fire Prevention in the Workplace
The best practice to stop the fire from terrifying your beloved employees and your workplace is to prevent the initial spark from starting in the first place. One should check all the possible areas where there are chances of fire hazards.
Kitchen area – fire prevention tips
Kitchen – one of the most common places at the workplace where fire incidents occur. The one place in the office that has most of the appliances and also where your employees are more likely to drift away.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to unplug all the appliances after use. Everything. Now, this is the best practice to be sure that there are no unwanted sparks because of electric current. Make this a habit of all your employees to check and unplug appliances before leaving the cooking area.
Appliances like toasters, electric kettles, etc., should be kept away at a safer distance. WHY?
The heat that these appliances generate may overheat or help some items or materials to catch fire.
Always keep a fire extinguisher handy and accessible in the kitchen area. Make sure all your employees know how and when to use it.
Having a fire extinguisher ball is one of the best options available where you don’t have to train any of your employees and let them just throw it in the fire.
Fire Prevention tips for the Office
Many electric appliances and machines in and around your workplace can easily become a fire hazard if not taken care of. Keep in check for all the common fire traps and follow tips for fire prevention.
Taking care is one good thing which we can do, be it of our people around or the machines at our workplace. Computers, monitors, copiers, fax machines, projectors, or even paper shredders should be taken care of and keep them updated. Replace damaged or old wiring as soon as possible.
Be prepared for Fire Emergencies in the Workplace
When there is a fire outbreak, you are left with a few minutes or maybe even less to execute the plan you have, if any, to get out safely. Hence, implementing a fire prevention strategy and having an emergency plan in place is a must. This will help you to get out of harm’s way and bring people to a safe place.
Using Smoke Alarms
The first line of defense – smoke alarm!
Let’s assume you don’t have a properly functioning smoke alarm. What then? By the time employees are aware of the fire outbreak, it will have consumed most of the areas and is highly dangerous for all.
Having a sufficient number of smoke alarms in the workplace and making sure that they have a power supply and battery back-up is one of the “good habits” you’ll ever have.
Test all smoke alarms on regular basis.
Test all sprinklers and other suppression systems at regular intervals to keep them running smoothly when you need them.
Preventative maintenance through inspection, testing, and regular maintenance is essential; the top priority. To be safe from fire hazards, it is always better to take additional precautions to check your smoke alarms. Another preventative measure is to check your fire suppression systems that include documentation of all the fire fighting equipment according to the industry’s fire safety requirements.
Keep a record of all the documentation so you know what has been tested and what needs to be tested to be repaired or what needs maintenance.
According to Google plan is defined as “to decide, organize or prepare for something you want to do in the future”. An evac plan should be in place. The most important or should I say one of the pillars of being safe. It can help your employees to know where they need to go in an emergency situation. This will help to keep fear and chaos subside and getting everyone to a safe place.
Establishing a clear plan to ensure your employees are trained and know how to execute the desired evac plan in the fire outbreak.
Design your evacuation plan with multiple routes. This will ensure employees have several possible exits in case part of the building is blocked or inaccessible.
Design an evacuation plan in such a way that you have multiple exit routes. This will help your employees to keep down their panic behavior and go to a safe place if any of the exit routes are blocked.
Choose a spot at a safe distance from the building where employees can gather. Appoint one employee in a leadership role to direct people to that location and take an accurate count once all are assembled.
Have a plan that works for all employees, regardless of age, sex, physical or mental ability.
Keep an evacuation route map with all exits posted in a visible location in the workplace. Make sure it is clear and easy to read.
Keep all emergency numbers handy.
Practice Fire Prevention in the Workplace
Regular fire drills are one way to make all your employees familiar with the fire prevention and fire evacuation plan.
When planning the route to a safe place you should also remember that someone should be responsible to contact emergency services. Assign roles to employees who will contact the fire department, who will stay put and direct other employees to exits and make sure that everyone gets out safely, who will coordinate at evacuation point, etc.
Have one person in a leadership position overseeing that all employees are properly trained on how to carry out their roles. This could be someone working in HR, a manager, or a knowledgeable assistant tasked with fire prevention updates and drills.
Keep all hallways and doorways clear of furniture or personal belongings or anything that can work as a barrier. Make it a practice that no items should block fire exits at any time — even temporarily.
People under stress and panic behave irrationally, regular drills and practice will help them to think and behave rationally; it will also help employees to save their lives as well others.
A little bit of office fire safety training can go a long way.
Remember someone who said, practice makes a man perfect. Take this seriously in the case of fire drills.
That’s all folks,
keep practicing and think rationally.
See you all in the next blog.