Every year fires in business facilities kill 5000 people, injure 80,000 and cost business over 11 billion dollars. In the 19th-century entire cities were destroyed by fire because they were made entirely of wood. However today there are some things which make the workplace safer. We now have fire resistant building materials, smoke detectors, and sprinkler systems. Yes, despite all of these advances in technology we still have a significant risk of fire where we work.
Unfortunately, most fires are caused by lack of adequate training or carelessness. The best way to fight fires is to prevent them from starting in the first place. Following proper safety procedures in the office will help your facility avoid the tragic circumstances of a fire. You can contribute to preventing fires by learning to recognize potential fire hazards and correct problems before they can start.
- Understanding the human impact
Fire also has a significant human element to it also, with many fires being started as a result of human error, misjudgement or negligence. Therefore your fire risk assessment should acknowledge security requirements to prevent arson, adequate facilities in smoking areas and also that any combustible materials are safely stored away from ignition sources. Reducing office clutter and paperwork with appropriate office cupboards and storage can help to reduce the risk of fire.
- Electrical Safety
Many of the office fires often start as a result of an electrical malfunction or misuse. Keeping your electrical system and maintaining them to provide maximum safety is a major step in preventing office fires. Do not overload electrical outlets. Simply make sure you have a sufficient number of outlets. By having an adequate number of power outlets, you will also minimize the use of extension cords and reduce the chance of fire.
- Fire Risk Assessments
Conducting a proper fire risk assessment may be exactly the step that you need to start thinking about fire safety, both for your employees and for your business assets. A fire risk assessment will identify any potential causes of fire, such as erratic wiring, hazardous chemicals, cooking areas and heating appliances.
- Prepare for any eventuality
Should a fire occur, loss of valuable data or assets will be one of the most damaging effects on your business? Take precaution against this by locking valuable items away within a fireproof safe. Not only will this protect against fire, but potentially save those same assets against potential burglary.
People move on, it’s a fact of working life, and they take their knowledge with them. Ensure that you have regular sessions where you educate your staff on fire prevention and that you maintain any lost knowledge with additional training. Run regular drills and have fire wardens. It doesn’t matter how large or small your business is, a good fire warden is always valuable.
Fire safety is an important part of any business and should never be taken lightly. By developing and maintaining a fire safety plan, your business and more importantly, your staff will be safe from harm