Fire prevention tips for fire safety in the workplace

By Mike Johnston

From 2003 to 2016, about 2% of work-related deaths in the US were caused by explosion and contact with hot objects. In other words, because a fire broke out and people got burned. As a business owner, you have an ethical and legal obligation to secure your employees from such disasters. Your enterprise production capability and business premises can also end up as a burnt crisp.

For these and many other reasons, fire prevention and safety should be crucial components of your business protocols. Here are key pointers and fire prevention tips that will secure your workers, business premises and clients from any fire danger.

Fire extinguishers

On business premises, fire extinguishers often represent the first line of defence if a fire happens. They are particularly suited for business premises, as chemicals in them spare most electrical wires. Nicknamed “silent heroes” because of their fast and efficient way of stopping a fire as it begins, different types of fire extinguishers exist for various fire hazards. For example, a powder ABE fire extinguisher is great for all classes of fire, including combustible liquids, flammable materials, flammable gases, and electrical equipment, while CO2 fire extinguisher works best on flames caused by combustible liquids or electrical equipment.

The right amount of available and easily accessible fire extinguishers throughout the office and properly trained employees will successfully promote fire safety in the workplace. Hosting a seminar about fire safety and the proper use of fire extinguishers is also a good idea. Fire extinguishers should be maintained in pristine condition and regularly checked and tested.

Building insurance

While a proper fire prevention system can minimize or even neutralize consequences of a fire breaking out, there isn’t a system in the world that offers 100% protection. If the worst happens, you will need to be prepared for it and have building insurance in place. Building insurance will cover the structural and material damage to your business premises in the case of a fire breaking out. The whole building is fully covered in case of damage. A part of proper building insurance is to hire building insurance valuation services so an experienced surveyor estimates the expenses of premise replacement in the case of a total or partial loss.

Properly executed insurance will cover the reconstruction costs of a business-owned property, fittings, and fixtures, structural improvements like gates and fences, ultimately including a thorough estimation of necessary materials. This is the best option when you are the owner of the business premises.

Designated smoking areas

In the last decade, designated smoking areas were formed so that second-hand smoke stops affecting fellow workers. After a certain time, their hidden advantage emerged in the form of containment of fire hazards from cigarettes. Most of the zones include ashtrays made from fire-resistant materials and fire extinguishers.

If you haven’t already designated certain areas for smoking in your business premises, now is the right time to consider it. Separating flammable zones from such areas and adding fire-resistant materials in them will increase workplace fire safety while also improving the workers’ overall comfort.

Create workplace protocols and raise awareness

For starters, find a month in the year where you and your staff get to talk about the fire safety practices that will be maintained throughout the year. Repetition is the mother of learning; hence your fire safety practices should be a frequent topic.

Fire is dark, deadly, fast and hot, which implies that you need to act fast, get out and stay low if possible. Most of your employees probably don’t know this and other fire-related procedures and will panic or think that someone else is managing the fire in case of an emergency.

To combat this, implement a standard operating procedure (SOP) just like any other company operation, complete with business contact information, floor plans and emergency contacts. Every employee should have their own personal copy, and laminated, public copies should be placed on the walls throughout the business premises.

As this is the article’s “exit,” it is worth mentioning that you should also build fire exits so that clients and employees have a safe way out of the building. Two fire exits that aren’t located in close proximity work best. They can be a window, a door or any other kind of exit that is big enough for a person to crawl through and leave the building. Keep them clear of any blockages or obstructions and mark them visibly with lighted exit signs.

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Mike Johnston is a business and lifestyle blogger from Sydney, Australia. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and Divine Magazine. He has also contributed to numerous financial, real estate and environmental blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

1 comment

  1. Thank you for the interesting article.

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