Nearly four thousand people have died each year from fires. Most of these were residential fires, but the danger still remains for fires in the workplace.
Besides the death toll, fires also destroy property and sometimes critical business infrastructure—data, equipment, furnishings and more.
These tips will help ensure your workplace remains fire safe.
1. Don't overload electrical systems. How many times have you seen it at work? An employee needs to power a printer or some other device, so plugs in a power strip to create more socket space. This might not be a problem unless another not-so-bright employee replaces a small fuse with a larger one so the fuses don't keep blowing.
2. Store combustible materials properly. If your business works with solvents or other combustible materials, make certain they are stored away from flame, heat or sparks. Good ventilation will help to reduce problems with solvents and other flammable liquids especially in areas were such flammable materials are used.
3. Keep a safe space around sources of heat. If someone brings in a personal space heater to plant near their desk, but they place it too close to a stack of folders or other paper, their workstation may become a bit toastier than they had expected.
4. Candles. If ever there is a power outage, candles may be the worst solution, especially if your business uses solvents or contains lots of paperwork. Imagine someone bumping into a desk, knocking a candle over as they walk by, not noticing the sudden bonfire.
5. Clean fireplace chimneys properly and regularly. If your business uses a fireplace, soot can build up and become a fire hazard.
6. Keep all electrical wiring in good condition. Frayed wires pose not only a danger from electrical shock, but also act as a potential source of fires.
7. Use all electrical or electronic equipment properly. Not following directions or attempting to disengage safety features can sometimes result in grave danger. For instance, disabling the timer on a microwave oven could start a fire when the food loses all of its moisture and bursts into flame.
8. Fire safety training courses. Fire safety is a serious responsibility for all employees. That's why many companies include fire safety training as part of their corporate training program. The most convenient method for most employees is through online training courses. And for many of the elearning programs, employee compliance is easy to demonstrate.