With the dry heat of summer, the dangers of fire become more and more real every day. While most people prepare their homes for the possibility of a fire, being ready to fight a fire at work is a less practiced art. Last week, we discussed the best fire safety tips for domestic situations. You can read my last fire safety installment here. However, there are still many other lifesaving fire tips to discuss. So, let’s extinguish our curiosity and begin.
All workplaces are required to follow similar rules in regards to fire safety. First and foremost, all employees must receive proper training on what to do in case of an emergency. Workplaces can either ask employees to evacuate the premises immediately or to fight smaller fires. Organizations should seriously consider using job safety analysis for outlining fire safety procedures (here’s a good resource for that www.jsabuilder.com). In the case of evacuation, the employer must create a written escape plan that all employees receive training, such as fire drills, on. If the employer wishes for employees to fight smaller fires, they must make sure sufficient fire extinguishers are available and that employees are trained where the fire extinguishers are located and how to properly use them.
In your business place, there are several things that any single individual can do to avoid fires. Keep your personal space free and clear of any debris, or waste that is flammable. After you finish your workday, be sure to power off all electrical appliances and keep your circuits from being overloaded. A tip you might overlook is to remove your cables from walkways. If your cables are tread upon regularly, the protective casing weakens and they become more likely to catch fire. Finally, keep any heat producing machinery away from flammable materials. For example, computers, copy machines, and coffee makers might cause an office if left on for extended periods of time.
Now, let me take you back to elementary school really quickly. If you find yourself on fire, remember to STOP, DROP, and ROLL. While this lesson was ingrained on the brains of every child, it’s easy to forget in an actual emergency situation. However, performing the stop, drop, and roll incorrectly can actually lead to serious harm. Always roll away from the fire. This seems like common sense but common sense tends to go out the window in a panic. Furthermore, this procedure should only be used if your clothing catches fire (not if you’re burned) in order to extinguish the flames.
There are always extra steps that a single individual can take to improve the safety of their workplace. However, not everything can be done alone. Make sure that your entire office has been properly prepared to operate a fire extinguisher, and understand the emergency escape plan for the building. Taking personal precautions, such as keeping your office space clean and making sure appliances do not over heat, will help prevent the threat of a fire. Also, don’t overlook the simplest safety information. With that, I conclude my two-part fire safety informative article. Because most of these tips are interchangeable between domestic and professional spaces, be sure to read my first post on domestic fire safety. Remember, 911 is there to help. Call the emergency responders if you find yourself in a life threatening situation.
While most of my readers are based in the United States, fire safety is universal. For an overview of fire safety tips, check out this video on fire safety from the United Kingdom.