Fire presents major risk to businesses. Those organizations who operate from a single premise are most vulnerable, as loss can completely disrupt operations. Everyone in the workplace is responsible for keeping the environment safe. Regardless of the work taking place, fire safety should be a primary concern. There are a few essential fire prevention and response measures you can take to avoid a workplace fire.
Organize your workspace in order to reduce unnecessary clutter.
- Do not restrict access to escape routes and exits;
- Keep work area free of flammable materials such as paper, trash, and some liquids;
- Avoid laying cords and cables in heavy traffic areas;
- Don’t overload circuits or extension cords;
- Keep copy machines, coffee makers, PCs, etc. away from heat producing equipment;
- Remember to turn off all electrical appliances prior to leaving for the day.
All businesses should have a valid emergency plan in place to both prevent a fire and respond should one occur.
- Electrical failures make up almost 40% of workplace fires. Periodically check all electrical cords and replace those damaged as necessary;
- Ensure that the fire alarms and smoke detectors are regularly inspected and tested;
- Escape routes should be general knowledge to all employees. Make sure all exits are unobstructed;
- Fire drills should be performed regularly with an evacuation procedure in place;
- Train employees on the use of fire extinguishers and make sure they are current on inspections;
- There should be a designated area for all employees who smoke outside of the building.
Responding to a Workplace Fire
The most immediate response should be to pull the fire alarm. This should alert everyone in the building to the presence of a workplace fire. Afterwards, it would be best to contact 911 emergency services and stay on the line until the responder is finished gathering information.
- If the fire happens to be small enough, then you may be able to put it out with a fire extinguisher. Should it be uncontrollable, then evacuate the area immediately;
- Make sure you and the other employees follow the escape routes laid out by management;
- Opt for stairwells should you be on a floor above ground and avoid using elevators. Elevators may shutdown mid-transit trapping you inside the building;
- Closing doors behind you can actually help reduce the spread of the fire;
- Once you do make it out of the building, do not go back inside. A burning building is far too dangerous. Leave it to the professionals.
Make sure all staff are aware of fire safety in the workplace. Discuss the prevention and preparation expected of them to ensure their safety and avoid unwanted damages. Your business may be in need of a fire damage restoration team once the situation has ended. Don’t hesitate to make the call as fire damage can grow if left to settle.
It always pays to be well prepared for whatever the future brings. This is also why you should have a restoration company you know and trust. Mission Restorations has experts in fire, water, and mold restoration. If ever in need of services, don’t hesitate to call the best damage restoration team in Charlotte and its surrounding areas at 704-727-2000.