Fire safety is an important workplace topic throughout the year. While death and injury are the greatest risks and the ones with which most people are familiar, fires also destroy jobsites and offices. In fact, many workplaces destroyed by fire are never rebuilt because it is simply too expensive. Don’t let a fire threaten you, your co-workers and your job. Here are some general tips for a fire-safe workplace to share with your fellow employees.
1. Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing or obstructing clear access to exits and emergency equipment.
2. Place oily rags in a covered metal container. This waste must be properly disposed of on a regular basis.
3. Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.
4. Report electrical hazards. Many fires start due to faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment. Never attempt electrical repairs unless you are qualified and authorized.
5. Maintain free access to all electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels would slow the shutting down of power in an emergency situation.
6. Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the (Material) Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.
7. Use all precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres, such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.
8. Help maintain building security to prevent arson fires. Lock up as instructed; report suspicious persons; and don’t leave combustible rubbish where it can be set afire outside the building.
9. Smoke only in designated areas, and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.
10. Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials.
11. Post emergency telephone numbers as well as the company address by the telephone in your station for quick access if a fire were to start in your work area.
12. Learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
Checkout our Guildeline for Inspecting Portable Fire Extinguishers to ensure that your fire extinguishers are ready to go, should you need to use them!