Fire Safety in the Workplace
We often think about fire safety in our own homes, but how many of us worry about fires while we are at work? October is National Fire Prevention month, so there is no better time than now to brush up on your fire safety knowledge in the office! Each year in the United States there are between 70,000-80,000 workplace fires, and the annual cost to businesses is over $2 billion. Companies that operate from a single location are particularly vulnerable when it comes to fire. Any building damage could temporarily stop business operations, costing a company time and money. In order to prevent employee injuries and damage to the workplace, it is extremely important for every organization to know fire prevention practices and to have an emergency plan in place.
Safety Measures and Emergency Plans
Practicing the following safety measures, and preparing emergency plans, can greatly reduce the risks presented by fires at work:
- Never block access to firefighting equipment (e.g. fire extinguisher), sprinkler heads, or fire exits with office furniture or other materials.
- Assign designated smoking areas for employees in safe locations, away from any flammable chemicals or combustible materials. Employees should be sure to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them, a bucket of sand or water can be useful for this.
- Make sure an adequate number of fire alarms for the size of your location are in place and that all are working.
- Keep a clean office: get rid of excessive clutter, recycle unneeded papers, remove grease in kitchens, etc. A tidy and clean office would provide less fuel for a fire, which can potentially mean less damage.
- Do not store furniture or equipment in front of electrical panels, as the power might need to be shut down in an emergency situation.
- Store all chemicals correctly, in rooms with proper ventilation and away from any potential sources of fire (kitchen, machinery, smoking area, etc.). Check the labels and Material Safety Data Sheets to determine flammability and other risks.
- Report any electrical hazards, such as equipment not working correctly or faulty wiring. Also practice proper electrical safety (e.g. don’t overload outlets with adaptors, don’t use electrical equipment with wet hands or near water, etc.)
- Post emergency numbers and the office address next to all phones.
- Have at least two escape routes, that are separate from one another, and practice drills with employees. Have an escape plan in place for any disabled employees or visitors.
- Use the SERVPRO Ready Plan App to create an Emergency READY Profile containing critical facility information that can help speed up response time after fire or water damage occurs. Learn more about the app here.
SERVPRO is Here to Help
If you have experienced a fire at your business, SERVPRO of North Garland is here to help. Our highly trained professionals are quick to respond, and can be on location within a few hours to begin the restoration process. The faster restoration begins, the faster our customers can return to business. If you or your company has experienced a fire or water damage call us now at 972-496-2441, we’ll be there quickly to make it “Like it never even happened.”