Posted on: 16 March 2015
It's easy to think that fires never actually break out in an office, but they do happen, and they can cause a tremendous amount of property damage and put your staff at risk for injury or a fatality. Very often these fires are caused by carelessness or other avoidable problems, but with a few simple changes to the office and the implementation of some fire safety rules, you can easily improve the safety of your office.
1. Remove or strictly regulate heating elements in the office
A space heater can catch fire itself if dust and debris are allowed to build up inside, around the fan or blower. They can also start a fire if they're placed too close to a rubbish bin filled with papers or to drapery and other flammable materials. Mug warmers on a desk pose a fire risk if they too come into contact with papers or other flammable materials.
To reduce these risks, remove or strictly regulate these heating elements. Have space heaters taken apart and cleaned every year, and dictate where they can be kept. Ensure that mug warmers, if allowed, are not left unattended. This will reduce the risk of fire from any of these devices.
2. Increase the number of fire extinguishers you keep on hand
A fire extinguisher can be the first thing you use to keep fires from spreading and growing if they do start, and they're a good tool against fires that start in wastebaskets or other such common areas in an office.
Unfortunately many offices only keep an extinguisher near the lunchroom and not in the office area. Invest in some small and unobtrusive extinguishers you can keep in each room of your office so that your staff can be more able to extinguish any blaze the minute it should start.
3. Monitor the electrical devices in your kitchen
Many offices provide a microwave, toaster oven, and other such appliances for their staff to use in the kitchen. It's good to take inventory of these on a regular basis and ensure that they're all plugged into different areas so you're not overloading any one outlet, and that they're working properly.
Shorting out an appliance is a common cause of household fire, as is overloading an outlet. If your staff should bring in additional appliances or move them to an area where they're all using one outlet, this can increase your risk of a fire. Monitor your kitchen area for these types of safety concerns and this will reduce your risk of an electrical fire.
If you have more questions, consult resources such as Protect-A-Life Fire Services.Share