Fire safety at work is paramount since many businesses are prone to fires. Fires at businesses can be devastating, destroying lives and property worth billions of dollars. For example, between 2014 and 2016, there were over 100,000 reports of fires annually in the United States, according to the US Fire Administration. These fires resulted in an average of 90 deaths per year, 1,350 injuries, and a total cost of $2.4 billion.
So are you prepared to handle fire accidents in your workplace? When it comes to fire, prevention is always the best option. To prevent fires effectively, everyone in the building must take responsibility to keep the business environment safe.
This article will show you some tips that will help you prevent fires in your place of business.
Consider the Risk Factors of Your Facility
The responsibility of checking the unique risk factors of the workplace environment lies on the shoulders of the business owner. As a business owner, you need to identify the items on your property that might increase the chances of a fire—for instance, electric equipment, heat appliances, storage of combustible materials, and flammable liquids. Take note of these hazards and find an appropriate measure to minimize the impacts of fire if they occur. To ensure a thorough check, you can call a professional or have safety personnel on staff trained to identify and minimize risk factors.
Train Your Staff
In a recent survey, 74% of the respondents claim they have never used a fire extinguisher. The sad truth is, some of these people might be working with you. So, to keep your workers and your building safe, conducting fire safety training for them is imperative. Teach everyone how to respond to fires and how to use fire extinguishers. Also, ensure that everyone is familiar with the emergency exits in the building. Conduct fire drills as often as possible and let them see the importance of these drills to prepare themselves ahead of a fire occurring. To make the training more effective, you can collaborate with your local fire department or call your local Koorsen branch to inquire about training.
Conduct Regular Testing and Inspection
Your building can only stay protected from fires when you have the right tools in place to protect it. However, no matter how sophisticated these tools are, they are useless if they do not work. Therefore, you need to test them at intervals to see if they are working fine. The following are some of the emergency equipment you need to test at intervals:
- Fire Extinguishers: ideally, you should have your fire extinguisher serviced once a year. In addition to that, you should also visually inspect them monthly to be sure they will operate in a fire situation.
- Emergency Exits Lighting: These lights help people make their way out of buildings during fire accidents. It’s essential to ensure that they work well and can offer sufficient light during emergencies.
- Fire Sprinkler System: Fire sprinkler systems are essential in suppressing and hopefully extinguishing large fires. Therefore, it’s vital to have them inspected and tested by professionals semi-annually or annually, depending on local fire codes.
- Fire Alarm System: The fire alarm system alerts those in the building and the local fire department that a fire emergency may be occurring. Like the other equipment, the fire alarm system must also be tested and inspected regularly by professionals.
Other general tips include:
- Store chemicals and flammable objects away from heat sources.
- Emergency exits should always be accessible and free of obstructions.
- Do not overload power outlets with too many cords and cables.
- Declutter your workspace as often as you can because clutter can become fuel in fire incidents.
- Always check for damaged cords, and be sure to remove or replace them immediately.
Contact Koorsen for Inspections, Training, Installs, and More
Since 1946, Koorsen Fire & Security has been protecting and securing businesses of all sizes. With over 25 branches throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, we have protected the lives and property of thousands of businesses. Contact us today for all of your fire protection needs.