Regardless of the industry or type of business you conduct at your work facility, fire safety should always be a main concern. Too often we get wrapped up in our work and do not take the conscious steps needed to prevent work fires. The best way to ensure the safety of your staff is through fire prevention and preparation. Talk with your staff about the following precautions they can take to be aware of their surroundings in the facility to prevent future fire emergencies.
Here are a few fire safety tips that you can distribute to your staff:
- Keep your work area free of any waste paper, trash and any other materials that can easily catch fire.
- Check your electrical cords. If a cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Try not to lay cords in places where they can be stepped on, as this may contribute to the damage and deterioration of the protective outside coating.
- Don’t overload your circuits.
- Turn off electrical appliances or machinery at the end of each day. This is especially important in the winter when workers or associates might have space heaters on to keep warm.
- Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn. This includes copiers, coffee makers, computers, etc.
In the event that an unfortunate fire does start in the workplace, here are a few safety tips on how to prepare and handle a facility or office fire.
- Upon finding a fire, call 911 immediately and don’t hang up with the emergency responder until told to do so.
- Sound the alarm (if it is not already going off) to let building occupants know there is a fire and they must evacuate.
- If, and only if, you are trained to do so, you might be able to fight a small fire with a portable extinguisher. Choose the right extinguisher for the type of fire and keep a clear escape route.
- Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
- Never use elevators during evacuation.
- Follow the company’s escape plan and procedures and meet at a pre-determined place outside of your building and away from danger.
- Conduct a headcount to ensure all of your staff is evacuated.
Overall, the best way to eliminate the risk of a facility fire is through prevention and preparation. It is extremely important that your workers know what they can do in their everyday tasks to prevent fires. It is also important for workers to know exactly what to do in the event of a fire. Take fire drills seriously. They are organized to save lives and property in case of the real thing.
Written by: Eric Fox & Gina Mogavero.