Fire can be catastrophic for any company or office. Not only does it affect the business but the employees as well. Workplace fire safety is an important aspect of the working environment that employers should guarantee for every employee.
Several kinds of disasters could possibly happen in any workplace. Preparedness and having an effective emergency plan, such as the capacity for emergency management, can reduce potential risks and losses during an emergency
So here are 12 workplace safety tips to get you started:
#1 Follow Your Local Fire Code
Every workplace follows local safety standards, including the fire safety code. These are guidelines set in your community to ensure that your business or office is adept at safety measures such as fire exits and electrical wiring systems.
Additional safety precautions are implemented for workplaces that may concern a good influx of customers, like hospitality businesses. This is to ensure that your employees are safe and your customers.
#2 Keep Your Workplace Clean at All Times
Working in a clean and organised workplace can be invigorating. It will always make you feel inspired to work when things around you are in order. Comparatively, working in a cluttered environment can pose a high risk of fire hazards and other accidents.
It is highly advised that corridors and exits should be free from clutters. This can help a swift evacuation in case of fire or other emergencies.
Offices should make sure that highly flammable and combustible supplies and materials are kept in fire-resistant cabinets. Waste bins for combustible materials should be placed where there is less risk to employees’ safety.
#3 Minimise Workplace Fire Hazards
Each employee should do his or her part in making sure that the workplace is fire hazard-free. When you see threats to the safety of the workplace, report them to your manager or building administrators. It is best to eliminate any source of potential fire starters before it ignites into a disaster.
Below are some ways you can minimise workplace fire hazards:
- Report any faulty or bad wiring within your workplace;
- Keep combustibles and flammables from your electrical room;
- Avoid using damaged electrical cords or outlets;
- Stop plugging too many appliances in one circuit; and
- Ensure quality and fire-resistant storage for chemical supplies.
#4 Train Your Employees
Schedule fire training and drills for your employees. Do not think of it as a waste of time but as an investment. Fire drills can help employees become aware of the precautionary measures they should do in case of disasters.
Other training that employees should participate in include the following:
- First aid application;
- Rescue procedures;
- Use of fire extinguishers and hydrants;
- What to do when you or your clothes catch fire;
- Evacuation routes per department; and
- Becoming a fire warden.
#5 Have Fire Protection Equipment Ready
Fire protection equipment includes fire extinguishers, automatic sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, fire hydrants and emergency kits. The equipment is preventive items that can protect the workplace and the employees. Each of these pieces of equipment should be strategically placed in your workplace according to the local building code of your area.
#6 Implement a Fire Evacuation Plan
As part of the local safety standards, every establishment should have a fire evacuation plan. It should be posted in conspicuous places where everyone can see it. Make sure to implement your evacuation plan during fire drills. Evacuation plans can also be used for other workplace emergencies or disasters like earthquakes.
#7 Learn to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are the most common fire protection equipment that every employee should know how to operate. Walking past a fire extinguisher every day at work should inspire you to at least know how to use it in case of emergencies.
If there comes a time when you need to use a fire extinguisher, simply follow the PASS procedure:
P – Pull the safety pin from the handle;
A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire;
S – Squeeze the trigger in a controlled and tolerable manner; and
S – Sweep the nozzle moderately side to side.
#8 Practice Fire Drills
Generally, fire drills should be done at least once every 3 months. This can help prepare employees to respond safely while maintaining their composure and alertness.
#9 Appoint Fire Wardens
A fire warden is a member of your crew who is responsible for making sure that fire precautionary measures are implemented within the workplace. Generally, there should be at least one fire warden per establishment.
Fire wardens undergo extensive training to ensure that employees follow fire safety procedures. They also make sure that every member of the company will evacuate the building safely in case a fire breaks.
#10 Pay Attention to Fire-prone Areas
Building managers should make sure that fire-prone areas are especially given additional care. This may include company canteen, kitchen or pantry, electrical storage rooms and science laboratories or chemical rooms.
Employees should follow strict compliance in terms of storage and usage of inflammable and combustible materials and appliances. The company, on the other hand, should equip these areas with fire-resistant and safe storage and fixtures.
#11 Have Your Fire and Security Systems Checked Regularly
Business establishments must have their fire safety systems checked regularly by their local fire bureau, fire protection service or agency. This can help maintain a fire hazard-free workplace. In case of fire, it can help save lives and minimise any risk of damages to property.
#12 Orient Your Employees About First Aid
Employees should also be trained on first aid applications to help minimise injuries that may befall them or their co-workers. Remember to place first aid kits in every department, especially fire-prone areas like the kitchen and electrical rooms. First aid kits should also be placed where any employee can access them quickly in case of emergency.
Now that you know how to keep your workplace fire hazard-free, make sure to stay alert at all times. Always follow the safety protocols in your workplace. Be calm and apply the actions you need to take in case of fire.
Be ready at all times, contact Workplace Emergency Management today to learn more!
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