Organizations face several dangers that endanger their employees and their capacity to keep their businesses operating normally. An organization needs to be able to handle the strain of preparing for the unexpected and safeguarding its people, which can come in the form of anything from severe weather and natural catastrophes to power outages and acts of violence.
If your business has not yet delegated at least one individual (ideally, a group of individuals), fire safety supervision should be your organization’s top priority.
At least one person should be appointed to the position of fire warden at every company. The Office Manager, Facility Manager, Safety Manager, or Human Resources Manager of your organization are all examples of applicants that may make sense for the post.
This individual or team ought to clearly comprehend what circumstances can result in a fire at work and how your corporation now stacks up.
Fire warden tasks:
- Participate in developing, implementing, and improving efficient emergency protocols at your employment.
- To identify potential sources of fire within your company’s workspace, you must do a careful tour.
- Raise awareness among the leadership as well as among the workers of the current fire threats.
- Record potential dangers and then collaborate with the leadership to find solutions.
- Evaluate the preventative measures that have been taken to control the danger of fire.
- Employees should be trained in how to respond in an emergency.
- Plan and conduct frequent fire drills.
- Carry on with your regular inspections for fire prevention.
Someone must be in charge of directing the entire effort to avoid fires. However, planning for a fire might become more complex if your organization has more than fifty members. You will need to put together a group of reliable people who can assist the Fire Warden with various duties and responsibilities. The following are some additional responsibilities that different members of your team should take on:
- Ensuring that individuals are held accountable and providing feedback to leadership.
- Ensuring all doors are shut, and all exits are free of obstructions.
- Helping staff members who have mobility issues, ensuring that damaged areas have been cleared out, and rounding up stragglers.
Most fires that potentially break out in the workplace can be prevented far before they ever start. Point of fact, a range of elements raises the probability that a fire may break out in a commercial establishment. To educate every worker, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has compiled a list of some of the most prevalent factors that lead to fires in the workplace. The following list is not exhaustive, but it does contain the most prevalent fire dangers that can be found in the workplace:
- Cooking Appliances
- Electrical Wiring
- Power Strips (overloaded)
- Lighting Equipment
- Heating Appliances
- Smoking Materials
- Office/Entertainment Equipment
- Common causes of workplace fires
- Residential Building Fire Causes 2017
Your organization’s Fire Warden must perform a comprehensive tour of the organization’s structure while maintaining a critical eye on the high-risk regions highlighted above. Once a possible danger has been found, they should devise measures to eliminate the risk, educate personnel on the correct way to operate the equipment or remedy the issue that caused the hazard in the first place.
There is no one solution to the problem of fire safety that can be applied universally since the elements that contribute to fires differ from one industry to the next. Some parts of most traditional places of employment ought to be regarded as having a greater danger.
Throughout five years, little more than one-fifth of the recorded workplace fires began in an office kitchen or cooking area. Any building with a kitchen equipped with a toaster oven, microwave, or other gadgets that generate heat is at risk.
It is also important to note that although only 2% of fires started in a business’s ceiling or attic region, fires in such areas were responsible for 13% of the direct property damage. It is helpful to understand the regions of your workspace that are most prone to fires and the points of origin that do the most damage. Of course, equal attention should be paid to every part of the office.
There are additional safety measures that every company ought to implement if a fire breaks out in their location. These include reducing the amount of loose paper found around the workplace, properly stowing combustible products, and educating each employee on the proper procedures to follow in case of a fire.
To reduce the likelihood of a fire breaking out, it is essential to take care of the appliances in the home (both in the kitchen and elsewhere) and to do periodic checks on the electrical system.
When it comes to matters of fire safety, the various business sectors each have their unique issues. For instance, a chicken company must have a specialized carbon dioxide fire extinguisher installed above the fryers. This fire extinguisher is probably not used anywhere, save in food processing or restaurants.
As a result of the scattered nature of the banking industry office environments, there will be many branches that need to be considered. If a bank building catches fire, it will be necessary for the institution to take measures to safeguard not just the tellers and personnel but also the clients.
Similarly, the healthcare business includes a broad array of staff members, such as nurses, physicians, and technicians, that they will need to consider keeping safe in the case of a fire in addition to patients.
To keep a safe working environment at your business, it is vital to understand the unique fire hazards associated with your sector.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that businesses adhere to stringent safety rules. These mandates vary based on the type of business and hazardous products present. In addition, companies have a responsibility to exercise reasonable care for their staff members. This legal and moral obligation demands employers do everything to keep their personnel out of harm’s way and potentially dangerous situations.
Nevertheless, regardless of whether a company is required by law to provide a safe working environment, they should do it anyhow. And the first step in accomplishing this is education.
The following set of OSHA recommendations for fire prevention can assist businesses in meeting their duty of care obligations and educating their staff on fire safety and prevention.
It is imperative that the strategy for preventing fires at every company be documented in writing, prominently displayed in the workplace, and made available for all personnel to examine. Several important aspects:
- Spell out all the critical potential fire threats.
- Employees must be instructed on handling and storing hazardous chemicals correctly.
- Employees should be aware of potential ignition sources and how to control them.
- Share information on the fire protection equipment installed to deal with the many significant risks.
- Share the procedure for evacuating the building and the instructions for using the emergency notification system at your organization.
- Include processes that will control the buildup of waste products that are flammable or combustible.
- Include protections that may be fitted on heat-producing equipment to prevent flammable products from being accidentally set ablaze.
- Create a list with the names and job titles of your organization’s internal fire safety wardens.
It is essential to highlight that businesses are responsible for notifying their employees of any potential fire dangers to which they may be exposed while doing their jobs. In addition to that, businesses are obligated to go over the fire safety plan with each of their staff members.
Understanding the dangers your firm is exposed to is the first step in reducing the likelihood of fires occurring in the workplace. The job may be too much for you to handle, so a streamlined checklist is an excellent place to begin.