When you go to work everyday, you expect it to be a safe environment. There shouldn’t be a worry about whether a fire will break out. Our employers take on the responsibility, and we put our trust in them. While most businesses are safe from the threat of fire, we need to be cautious of the dangers present inside our workplace and know how to deal with a fire if one develops.
Having a comprehensive fire safety plan in your company should be part of the office culture. When all employees make fire safety a priority, they will get home safe every night. Ultimately, it is up to the business owner to implement this kind of program, but it will keep people safe and all your business to be protected.
How can an office be protected from fire? Here are some proven methods that can improve office fire safety:
Conduct Office Fire Risk Assessment
No office building is 100% free from the potential of a fire. Commercial buildings are built with specific safety codes to minimize the danger, but it still does exist. The best thing for a business is to conduct its fire risk assessment.
Business owners should start by identifying any hazards that may cause a fire. This includes outside and inside the building. The building owner must be aware of fire threats outside of a building, but you need to check your own office. If you do identify risks, then you should work to minimize those. It could be the way you store material and supplies to simple housekeeping. Engage your staff to help identify and rectify any issues.
Fire Safety Training for Office Employees
Strong safety training programs need to be in place for all new employees. This should include all safety aspects in your workplace, including fire safety. Conduct emergency evacuation drills every six months to keep staff aware of the procedures and have a dedicated muster station in a secure location near the building.
Training shows your employees that you prioritize their health and safety and prepare them when a fire emergency hits. Ensure all your employees know where the fire exits are and how to use fire extinguishers and fire blankets. This office fire safety training saves lives.
For a fire to start and burn, it needs fuel. If you have a cluttered office with excess garbage and combustible supplies, it poses a threat.
Set policies for a clean working environment and conduct workplace audits, looking for fire hazards. Involve all your staff and get people on the same page. As the world goes digital, keep up with the trend by converting files to digital and recycling as much paper as possible. Any machinery that could spark should be kept well away from any flammable material. Have a dedicated smokers area where no grass or debris may catch fire. Good housekeeping is also a way that helps businesses be more efficient and profitable, so it’s in your best interest to make it a robust policy.
Maintain Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are among the most reliable alert system your office has. They can detect smoke from a fire before anyone notices an issue, and in an emergency, every second counts.
Ensure that all your smoke detectors are functioning and are fully charged. Some office smoke detectors may be linked to alarms and emergency dispatch, so they must be operational any all times. Not only will they help save lives during work hours, but they can also alert emergency fire services at night. This will minimize your loss of important business inventory, equipment and other assets.
Fire Extinguishers Near Office Exits
Fire extinguishers can effectively put out small fires before they have the chance to spread. You should have one installed beside every exit door. Many fires happen in a kitchen, so have an extinguisher in there. Train your employees to use them and get them regularly inspected and up to date.
There are different fire extinguishers designed for specific fires and flammable material. Ask your fire safety supply company to recommend the right type for your office.
Fire Signage in the Office
Having signage that alerts people during a fire emergency will save lives. People need to know what to do when a fire starts. People react differently during a crisis, and they need re-enforcing information during an emergency.
Have fire warning signs around dangerous equipment. Make sure it is legible and posted. High-vis escape routes help employees follow the safest path out of the building, and marked fire doors ensure your staff know where the fire is contained.