Fire prevention, whether in a home or business is a serious matter. In business, fire safety is often ignored probably because of the absence of a significant source of heat, which is the kitchen. But, offices carry risks as well. In fact, from the year 2011 to 2017, there was an average of 3,340 workplace fires every year, resulting in $112 million in property damage, injuries, and casualties. Just like in homes, workplace fires can also be avoided and everyone in the office can be responsible for keeping the environment safe. So, to keep everyone safe in the building, learn these essential fire safety tips, as well as the steps you can take in case of an emergency.
How To Prevent Workplace Fires
1. Clean Your Workplace
Having a workplace with unorganized materials, paperwork, equipment, or debris can provide fuel to an already-started fire and restrict access to escape routes or other emergency exits. Organize and clean your workplace. Keep the clutter to a minimum and make a clear pathway to an exit, to prevent fire hazards as well as to help you get out of the building safely, in case of an emergency.
2. Maintain Electrical Systems and Machinery
Keep electrical items and machines in good working order. Check electrical cords for signs of damage. Have professionals inspect and repair damaged wires. Also, avoid overloading power outlets with many electrical cords. Doing this reduces the possibility of overheating which can lead to workplace fires.
3. Designate Areas For Smoking
Employees should know the fire hazards of smoking inside the building. So, it is recommended that the designated area for smoking is outside of the building. Never smoke in storage areas or areas where chemicals are stored.
4. Test Fire and Smoke Alarms
One of the simplest and most effective ways of preventing workplace fires is having well-functioning smoke detectors and fire alarms. The management should inspect and test these devices regularly. Having these devices in your building can make a huge difference in keeping your business and staff safe.
5. Place Fire Extinguishers
Have the proper number and type of extinguishers in the building. Check them regularly and teach employees how to use them.
6. Keep Equipment Away From Combustible materials
Equipment that produces heat such as a microwave oven, should be placed away from combustible materials. Flammable materials and chemicals should be stored safely and away from heat-producing equipment.
7. Post Emergency Exits
Create an emergency exit diagram and post it in the building. Make sure that the emergency exits and routes are unobstructed.
8. Perform Fire Drills
Have the employees perform a periodic fire drill and create an evacuation procedure. This will allow you to ensure that everyone knows how to react in case of an emergency.
How To Respond To A Workplace Fire
Workplace fires can happen unexpectedly. So, it is very important to know what to do in case it occurs in your building.
The first important step to take is to activate your alarm system to alert all the employees and call 911. Remember not to hang up when talking to an emergency responder until he tells you to.
You may consider extinguishing a small fire using a fire extinguisher if you are trained or you know how to use it. Otherwise, never use it. If the fire seems too big for you to handle or is getting uncontrollable, then you should leave the building. Make sure to carefully follow the escape routes and go to the designated meeting place. When exiting the building, close the doors and even the windows to prevent the fire from traveling further.
When you are outside, never go back inside the building. If someone is missing, wait for the responders to arrive.
Contact Superior Restoration For Professional Commercial Fire Restoration Services
Fire emergencies and disasters can occur anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. However, with smart policies, vigilance, and quick action, you will be able to avoid catastrophe or at least reduce the damage. Always follow the safety tips above, so you can keep yourself, others, and your workplace safe. And, if the fire hits your business, know that we, at Superior Restoration, are here to help you get back on your business as quickly as possible. We have a team of experts who will work from cleaning up ash damage, removing soot and smoke odor, and restoring your fire-damaged equipment.