A fire eruption in the workplace can be disastrous. It can risk the safety of employees and the public, destroy expensive equipment, and can even shut the business down. However, many building owners don’t take workplace fire safety seriously, which makes most workplaces vulnerable to fire hazards.
The best way to avoid damage from workplace fire accidents is to prevent them from happening in the first place. You should focus on preventive measures instead of remedying the disasters after a fire accident.
So, let’s explore the 7 best ways to prevent fire in the workplace.
1. Maintain a Tidy Working Environment
One of the biggest yet most ignored fire hazards in workplaces is an unclean environment. Dust build-up, nesting of cables, cluttered space, and improper waste disposal aren’t only unhealthy but also impose significant fire risks. An untidy setting can block the exits, fuel a fire, or even mess with safety equipment.
Be sure to employ a regular and efficient cleaning program in place. It’s advised to hire professional cleaners for deep cleaning once or twice a month. Moreover, encourage employees to have clean workstations, follow a good waste disposal system, and keep clutter to an absolute minimum.
2. Install Fire Doors
Fire doors are specialist doors that help prevent the spreading of fire. According to Fraker Fire, a fire door repair and installation company, fire doors are purpose-built with fire resistance tests and special construction to hold out against active fires for as long as possible. They not only delay the spread of fire by blocking its passage but can also offer a safe passageway to exit the building in case of fire eruption.
Installing certified and labeled fire doors is extremely important as a part of preventative safety practice, especially for high-traffic areas like offices. They help prevent dangerous fire accidents by keeping the fire and smoke restricted to a particular area and not letting it disperse across the whole building.
3. Don’t Overload Power Sockets
A workplace is typically a high-traffic and busy environment where multiple activities are happening simultaneously. Most of the office work includes electrical equipment of some sort, such as computers, internet cables, TV screens, projectors, and so on. High usage of electrical-powered equipment may lead to overloaded power sockets, increasing the chances of overheating and thus a fire eruption.
You can prevent this by decreasing the number of cables plugged in at one time and not overloading extension cables. Furthermore, train employees about the safe use of electrical items.
4. Keep the Fire Alarms in Working Condition
Having a fire alarm can significantly reduce fire damage by giving you an early warning of a fire starting. However, many companies get consumed with business routines and forget about maintaining their fire alarms. As a result, they don’t work when needed.
Make sure to have a maintenance schedule in place for all your fire alarm systems. Keep them clear and accessible, and test them regularly to ensure that they are in perfect working condition.
5. Be Vigilant while Storing Combustible Substances
Most workplaces have high-volume of combustible materials that are hazardous because of their high flammability, such as paper and cardboard. In case of a fire accident, they won’t only fuel the fire but can also block the escape route.
Make sure that your workplace has a regular disposal system to take care of combustible materials. If not disposed of, then they should be stored safely and away from any fire danger zones.
6. Ensure Regular Maintenance of Electrical Equipment and Devices
A workplace is often full of electrical equipment. Having unprotected electrical wiring, faulty lines, machinery, or broken cables can cause a fire due to short circuits and overheating. Maintaining and testing them regularly can significantly reduce the chances of fire accidents caused by electrical reasons.
Therefore, it’s essential to ensure proper protective measures and regular maintenance of electrical equipment to avoid any potential electrical fire threats.
7. Have Dedicated Smoking Areas
Many of your employees might like to smoke. However, smoking can be a substantial fire hazard, especially in closed and busy workspaces. Therefore, it’s best to have separate designated smoking areas where the employees can smoke freely so that the workplace remains free of this particular hazard.
Make sure that the smoking areas are located away from any fire danger zones. Moreover, the smoking rooms should have proper ventilation, ashtrays, and other safe options for smokers to properly extinguish and dispose of their cigarettes. Also, make sure to set smoking rules and encourage your employees to follow them.