Fire safety should never be taken lightly because a fire can be caused by many different factors and in an instant, it can destroy an entire building and its contents. Many people take precautions around their homes to help prevent fires but what about in an office or workspace? A fire is just as likely to happen in an office building as in a home and an office fire can be very dangerous because there are usually plenty of employees and furniture such as desks and chairs densely packed in working areas. Everyone deserves to work in a safe environment and it is up each employee of an office to make sure that they are taking fire safety precautions for the benefit of everyone. The following are important fire safety tips that will help prevent office fires.
Maintain a No Smoking Environment
Many states have already made it illegal to smoke indoors but if you live in a state that hasn’t, it is a good idea to ban smoking inside your office building. Smoking is a major fire hazard within buildings, especially offices with loads of flammable paper and furniture, and all it takes is one careless employee to start a fire with a cigarette. It is safer to ask your employees to smoke outside.
Train Everyone on the Use and Location of your Fire Extinguishers
Every employee should be well aware of where the fire extinguishers are in your office as well as how to use them to put out a small fire. Covering this information with new employees and including a document with the locations and instructions for using the fire extinguishers in the employee handbook are effective ways for distributing this information. If the employees are trained to put out small fires with the fire extinguishers, the chance of a more destructive fire occurring will be greatly reduced. It never hurts to run fire drills every so often so your employees know where the extinguishers and fire exits are.
Follow all Safety Precautions for Handling and Storing Hazardous Materials
Some plants or offices may have hazardous materials on hand depending on the nature of their business and if this is the case, hazardous materials must be handled and stored with the utmost caution. Many hazardous materials may be flammable or dangerous to your health so it is important to establish protocols for handling the materials as well as what should happen in the event of a spill or accident.
Minimize Paper Clutter
Paper clutter is still a problem in many office settings as well as a major fire hazard. Reducing the amount of paper clutter around the office will greatly reduce this risk while also creating a neater environment. Some effective ways for reducing paper clutter include filing papers in metal filing cabinets, digitally storing important files to reduce the number of hard copies, encouraging the recycling of unwanted papers, and establishing a day for regular recycling pick up to get excess paper out of your office.
Maintain your Electronic Equipment
Offices usually use plenty of electrical equipment such as computers, servers, copy machines, and printers and if these machines are not maintained properly, they could increase the risk of a fire. Make sure your employees understand the importance of reporting any type of malfunction in the equipment to have it fixed right away and it is also wise to have machines that are heavily used routinely serviced to prevent breakdowns and malfunctions.
Office buildings are at just as much risk for fires as homes and the dense atmosphere of an office makes the possibility of an office fire very dangerous for employees. Making sure that the employees within an office understand the potential danger of an office fire and follow the above mentioned fire safety tips will help greatly reduce the risk of a fire. If a fire does occur in your office, calling a fire damage restoration professional right away is the best course of action for getting your office repaired or restored quickly to minimize the interruption to your daily business activities. By getting the employees in your office on the same page about fire safety, you can help protect your office from the threat of a fire.