Prevention is the best way to avoid fires. In addition helping to reduce your office’s risk, you will also need to educate employees about how to handle emergency fire situations so that everyone can get out safe and calm. Here are 5 general fire safety and prevention tips for the workplace.
- Identifying office issues before they can lead to a fire is a best, most proactive approach. Train employees to be able to identify potential fire hazards. Employees need to know that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the office environment as safe as possible. They should be able to notice something that could be dangerous such as overloaded electrical sockets. Not only is identification important, but they must also know how to report these potential hazards quickly and effectively so that the problem can be solved before it leads to a dangerous situation.
- Educate employees about how to respond in case of a fire or emergency. All emergency exits and routes should be clearly posted in every room of your office. Also, make sure employees know where the closest exit is. Practice fire drills yearly to ensure that all individuals know how to exit and remain calm in case of a real fire.
Fire extinguishers are one of the most reliable ways to put out fires in the workplace. All workplaces should have equipment for putting out fires. You may want to train workers in general fire extinguisher use to comply with OSHA standards. OSHA states that if employers expect workers to use the fire extinguishers themselves, hands-on training must be provided.
- Check regularly to make sure that office fire alarms and smoke detectors are working. Often smoke detectors will run out of batteries. If the detector does not have enough power to signal an alarm, fires could go unnoticed until it is too late.
- If you receive a potential fire hazard report, be sure to follow up with the status of the situation. Never assume the issue has been corrected right away. Check to make sure the job was done right. Also be sure to talk to the individual who filed the report to make sure the repairs are up too his or her expectations and to thank this employee for taking initiative and brining the problem to your attention.
- Finally, make sure fire exits are never blocked in an office. That extra door that no one ever uses may seem like a great place for extra storage, however this is a huge risk! While most times you will never need this door, the one time you do need access will be in an emergency, and if the door is blocked off and people cannot access it, their lives are potentially at risk. Keep all doors clear so that they can easily be opened as needed.
You can never be too cautious when it comes to preventing fires in your office or workplace. For the best prevention strategy, make sure all employees are well educated about fire prevention with a program like Occupation Safety Training Systems, and ensure that they know how to report problems. Also, make sure your emergency doors are clear and accessible. All employees should practice using the closest emergency exit route during fire drills. Using these steps will help to make your work environment safer and more efficient in the case of a real fire.