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Ruth Wilson Das - 26th November 2021
FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Always be prepared for anything & everything
As a business owner, you're obligated to provide a safe workplace for your employees. That includes doing what you can to reduce the risk of a fire emergency. Workplace fires often result in costly repairs and lost business that combines to create a devastating setback for a small business.
Fire is reported as one of the most common and costly small business claims. Fire safety should be top-of-mind for all business owners whether they own a food truck, bakery, retail shop, or office space. Keep your employees and business safe by following these tips for fire safety in the workplace.
Have an evacuation strategy
Every workplace or business establishment must have an evacuation plan. Keep in mind, however, that even the most perfect plan will be useless if only the person who made it knows about it. Go through the evacuation plan and make sure that every staff member and employee is knowledgeable about what to do. The plan should include which exits to use, and employees should be aware of the number of steps required to reach the exit in case there are visibility problems. Every establishment should have at least two exits in case one of them is blocked. If the fire alarm rings, never ignore it. Use the evacuation plan and strictly follow it. Post the evacuation plan and perform fire drills to ensure you and your staff are experts at it. Make the necessary provisions for any disabled workers and take into account how you will help any visitors present during a fire but unfamiliar with your plan.Contact us for more information on fire safety!
1. Maintain fire safety equipment
Fire safety equipment such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers should be inspected regularly. Any faulty equipment should be replaced right away. Store equipment in an easily accessible area that’s free from clutter. Keep up with routine maintenance by setting a calendar reminder or designate a time of year to schedule both formal inspections and independent upkeep. For example, many people use daylight savings time as a reminder to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.
2. Train your employees
Human error is a common cause of fire in the workplace. Mishandling chemicals, improperly storing combustible materials, and kitchen mishaps are just a few of the many situations that could spark a fire. Train your employees on how to properly operate machinery and safely store and dispose of hazardous materials to minimize fire hazards. Teach your employees the importance of following safety procedures and keeping them engaged. It can reduce careless behavior that might cause an accident.
3. Conduct routine fire drills
Panicking during an emergency can have dire consequences. Help familiarize your employees with your emergency action plan by practicing fire drills a few times a year. Routine drills can help employees respond to fire quickly and calmly. Your employees will be better equipped to guide themselves, and others, from your building if they know where to go. Consider having unannounced fire drills to measure the readiness of your staff and address any underlying concerns. Make sure it’s taken seriously.Contact us for more information on fire safety!
4. Post clear exits and escape routes
Smoke quickly infiltrates spaces, making it hard to see. Lighted signs can make it easier to locate exits. Consider installing floor lights, especially on main walkways, to guide those who need to crawl to safety. Post easy-to-read escape routes in several places throughout your building and make sure exits are marked. These maps can direct people to alternative routes and help those unfamiliar with your building to find their way to safety.Contact us for more information on fire safety!
5. Properly store and dispose of hazardous materials
Designate a well-ventilated area of your workspace to store flammable materials like solvents and fuels. This includes office cleaning products, which are often flammable. Establish standards for removing oily rags, flammable solvents, gasoline, and other accelerants. Employees should use appropriate protective gear and equipment when handling and disposing of these items.Contact us for more information on fire safety!
6. Schedule routine equipment maintenance
Equipment such as appliances, machinery, and computers should be maintained regularly. For example, greasy stoves, lint-filled dryer vents, and overheated machinery can all spark fires. Keep a list of your equipment and corresponding inspection dates. If you hire an outside business to do your inspections and maintenance, make upkeep easier by scheduling your next appointment before they leave. Another convenient option is to schedule all maintenance appointments at the beginning of the year.Contact us for more information on fire safety!
7. Establish designated smoking areas
Prevent fire by creating a designated smoking area that’s far away from your building, inventory, and combustible materials. Invest in commercial smoking receptacles and limit smoking to a specific area to help keep cigarette butts contained. Dispose of ashes away from flammable liquids and trash.