In the event of a fire in your workplace, you will need to take the appropriate steps in order to protect your employees. Read more to learn of some of the most common reasons behind fires in the workplace and what you can do to safeguard your staff.
1. Faulty wiring
Old, faulty wiring can quickly short-circuit and could become a potential safety hazard for your staff. As an employer, you will need to test appliances in the workplace on a regular basis and ensure that your electrical items, such as wires and plugs, are in good working order. If an emergency occurs, a water extinguisher can remove the heat from a fire while a powder, foam and carbon dioxide extinguisher can deprive the fire of oxygen.
Any employees who smoke will need to vacate your building in order to do so. However, a fire can still occur if someone carelessly discards a cigarette butt, especially if it manages to ignite paper or rubbish. Incorporating safety ashtrays in your business can solve this problem, and staff will be able to dispose of cigarette butts and matches properly. Install fire safe ashtrays in a designated smoking area away from entrances to your building.
If a fire starts in your staff canteen or kitchen, it can spread quickly and put lives at risk. Any hazardous materials like flammable solvents or paints should never be kept in the kitchen and instead stored in a safe cupboard or room elsewhere in the building. Check for any fire safety blankets you have in your kitchen. These essential pieces of equipment could save lives if someone needs to extinguish a small fire in the vicinity. The blankets can also be used to wrap around someone if their clothes have caught on fire. A fire safety expert will be able to unpack a fire blanket and check for signs of deterioration or damage. Replace the blanket with a new one if you need to.
4. Portable heaters
Portable heaters are another fire safety hazard if they are placed next to combustible furniture in the office. To ensure safety for all your employees, place heaters in a secure place by a wall away from foot traffic. Additionally, always purchase a heater that has all of the latest safety features. In the event of a fire from a heater, it is essential you have quick access to the proper equipment. A fire safety kit can be beneficial in an emergency: these plastic boxes contain several small items such as an emergency air horn for alerting employees, a safety whistle and a fire warden vest.