Fire safety at work is very important regardless of the time of year. Injury and death are the most commonly known risks of fires at work, but they can also destroy jobs. The truth is that many businesses that are destroyed by fire never rebuild. This is why you need to know some general tips to ensure that your workplace is fire safe.
Ways To Prevent Workplace Fires
Preventing fires is something that everyone should be looking at. Everyone needs to be alert to the causes of fires and to take responsibility for reporting problem areas that need to be addressed. There are some reminders of fire prevention that you should keep in mind.
The first is that you need good workplace housekeeping. Workplace clutter contributes to fires as it provides fuel. Clutter can also block access to emergency equipment and to the fire exits.
If your company has oily rags then these need to be placed in a covered metal container. This type of waste will need to be disposed of regularly and in a proper manner. You also need to maintain your business machinery t prevent them overheating and sparking.
Any electrical hazards will need to be reported. A lot of fires begin with faulty wiring and the malfunctioning of electrical equipment. You should never attempt to complete electrical repairs unless you are authorized and qualified to do so.
All electrical control panels will need to have free access. Equipment and materials stored in front of these panels will slow down the process of shutting off the power. This is something that needs to be done in an emergency situation.
If you use chemicals they need to be used and stored safely. Take the time to read labels and the Material Safety Data sheet provided to determine which are flammable and which cause fire hazards. You should also have proper ventilation for when these materials and used and stored.
In atmospheres that are potentially explosive, you will need to take all the precautions to prevent ignition. These atmospheres will include where flammable liquids are and where there are fine particles. Non-sparking tools should be used and controls for static electricity should be in place.
Building security should be maintained to prevent arson fires. The building should always be locked up correctly, any suspicious persons should be reported and combustible rubbish cleared. This reduces the areas outside of the building that could be set alight.
You should smoke only in the areas that are designated for it. All smoking materials will also need to be safely and completely extinguished. Never smoke in chemical storage areas or storerooms.
Never block any of the sprinklers, emergency exits of firefighting equipment. When you stack materials you will need to look at the clearance.
Have a note of emergency phone numbers and the company address by your phone. This will allow for quick access if there is a fire and you need to report this to the fire services. A schedule for fire extinguisher testing is also important. You should also learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
What To Do If There Is A Fire
Knowing how to prevent a fire is important, but you also need to know what to do if there is a fire in your work area. The first thing is to know the emergency procedures of your company and what your role in them is. If the alarm is not activated then you need to sound the alarm to ensure that everyone is able to exit the building.
If you are trained you could fight some of the smaller fires that occur with a fire extinguisher. It is important that you choose the right extinguisher for the type of fire and that you have a clear escape route. As you leave, you need to shut down machinery or equipment per your company’s emergency plan. You also need to take fire drills seriously as they are organized to save lives when there is a real fire.
A workplace fire is something that you will not want to experience. Rebuilding a workplace after a fire is expensive and many companies cannot afford to do this. So you should not let a fire threaten your safety and your job.