Have you reviewed your workplace fire safety program lately? October is fire safety month, so now is the perfect time to brush up and maintain a safe working environment for you and your peers. Here are five basic safety tips to get you started!
- MINIMIZE WORKPLACE FIRE HAZARDS
Best fire safety practices always begin with prevention. Be on the lookout for potential fire hazards and eliminate them before they develop. Here are some common fire hazards to watch for, remove, and report:
- Bad or faulty wiring
- Overloaded outlets or circuits
- Damaged electrical outlets or cords
Practice good housekeeping by removing recycling, trash, and other combustibles in a timely manner, and be sure these materials are not kept near any electrical equipment. If your company handles flammable resources, these must be stored in a flammables cabinet. Keep in mind, certain chemicals cannot be stowed next to each other, or they may combust.
- IDENTIFY POTENTIAL FIRE DANGER AREAS
Certain areas in your workplace may have a higher likelihood of fire than others. Some fire danger hot spots include:
- Employee breakrooms or kitchens
- Large electrical storage rooms, such as a server room
- Laboratories and other designated hazardous material areas
Help your fellow employees stay safe by unplugging any electrical equipment or appliances when they are not in use. Keep current on best practices for hazardous material storage and disposal to ensure potentially flammable materials are handled properly.
- CLEAR EMERGENCY EXITS AND PLAINLY MARK
Exits will be of little use during an emergency if they are not easily accessed or plainly marked. Do your part by ensuring emergency exits are clearly labeled and free of potential tripping hazards, and report any visibility concerns immediately.
- MAINTAIN FIRE DETECTION AND SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS & FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Fire extinguishers and suppression systems are powerful tools that do require regularly scheduled testing and maintenance. Ensure your fire extinguishers are up to date and available in hazard areas. Other fire extinguisher best practices include:
- Guaranteeing extinguishers are charged and ready to use through monthly inspections
- Placing extinguishers in an accessible, visible place, such as mounted to the wall
- Providing fire safety education for employees, including how to use a fire extinguisher
- TRAIN EMPLOYEES ON FIRE SAFETY PROCEDURES AND EVACUATION PLAN
Fire safety protocols are an essential part of any successful workplace. Make sure your employees attend regular, updated fire training that is specific to their workplace environment. Take the time to practice your evacuation plan according to OSHA’s guidelines. This fire safety procedure may include:
- Designating clear roles necessary to execute your workplace fire safety plan
- Scheduling recurring fire evacuation drills according to your industry and local fire safety requirements
- Establishing an employee check-in location and taking roll
Watching for hazards, communicating concerns, and educating your employees on practical, applicable fire safety practices ensures potential hazards are minimized before they occur.
Preventative measures are the best defense when it comes to safety; that’s why Brazas Fire encourages continuous dialogue to start a positive safety culture in your workplace this month.