Workplace fire prevention strategies to avoid a fire damage disaster at Corsicana, TX, businesses
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak helps office complexes, businesses, and commercial facilities recover from a fire damage disaster.
SERVPRO® of Ennis/Red Oak is a trusted, reliable choice when it comes to fire damage restoration, smoke damage restoration, and water removal and restoration in the workplace. Fire prevention in the workplace should be a top-of-mind priority for the business owner or manager. A workplace fire is not an everyday occurrence, but the exercise of fire prevention strategies in the workplace is and should be a part of the regular daily routine. Fire prevention strategies designated training sessions, and scheduled and unscheduled practice and drilling can dramatically reduce the risk of a workplace fire and the potential for employee injury or death. A small workplace fire can cause a large disruption in normal business operations, putting the future of the business in peril. The business owner and manager should view a workplace fire prevention plan as an investment in the future of the business.
A proactive fire prevention strategy benefits a business in the following ways:
- It limits liability and the likelihood of litigation.
- It ensures employee health and safety in the workplace.
- It minimizes potential property damage that would result from a fire.
Best practices for fire prevention in the workplace
Fire prevention is the best strategy to protect a business from a fire damage disaster. Follow these strategies that aim to prevent the first spark from ever igniting. Some areas in the workplace have a higher risk hazard of fire. These areas deserve special attention.
Fire prevention in the break room and kitchen area
Fire-related incidents in the workplace are often associated with the kitchen area or breakroom. The kitchen has a high concentration of appliances, such as a microwave, a standard oven, a coffee maker, a toaster oven, a waffle iron, and a hot plate. Distractions in the kitchen area of the workplace are similar to distractions in the kitchen area of the home. An urgent phone call, an intense business meeting around the breakroom table, or a flurry of texts from a vendor or customer can lead to more than burnt toast or a charred sandwich.
The following fire-prevention strategies can keep the kitchen area safe from fire:
- When not in use, appliances should be unplugged. This powerful fire prevention strategy should be both a habit and a policy.
- Keep combustibles away from heat-producing appliances such as toasters, countertop ovens, and electric kettles.
- A fire extinguisher should be mounted in a location that is easily accessible.
Fire prevention in and around the office
The office area has its share of electrical appliances, machines, and electronics, each with its own fire risk. Closely inspect the office for common fire hazards. Follow these tips for a safer work environment around the office.
- Modernize the fleet of copiers, fax machines, computers, monitors, projectors, and paper shredders. Wear and age can compromise the safety of these workhorse machines. Old or damaged wiring needs immediate replacement. An arc or spark can smolder for hours, only to flame up in the evening or on the weekend.
- Do not overload power strips.
- Never plug space heaters or other energy-heavy devices into a power strip. Instead, plug the appliances into a grounded outlet.
How to prepare for fire emergencies in the workplace
Once a fire starts in the workplace, the clock starts ticking, shrinking the amount of time available to extinguish the fire or to escape safely. The response should be automatic and reactive. A workspace can fill with smoke and be depleted of oxygen in less time than it takes to safely make it to the door. There is no time for even the slightest delay. A business needs to have a solid, well-constructed emergency fire preparedness plan. Every employee, including onsite vendors and contractors, should know the plan and be able to execute it without error. The key to success is practice and drill. Familiarity with prevention and escape protocols reduces stress and anxiety and increases performance when seconds make the difference between life and death.
Sound the alarm with smoke alarms
The first line of defense against a fire damage disaster is a battery of functioning smoke alarms. Smoke is usually the first sign of a fire. By the time flames are visible, the situation could be out of hand, and a safe escape may be very risky, if not impossible. Smoke alarms should be well-placed and well-maintained.
- Smoke alarms should have a power supply and a battery backup.
- Test all smoke alarms monthly.
- Regularly inspect and test all sprinklers and other suppression systems.
- Carefully document inspections, tests, and maintenance.
When a fire breaks out, know how to get out!
Create an evacuation plan with multiple escape routes. Post routes around the facility. Exits should be clearly marked and kept free of debris, equipment, and product. Frequent drills are the key to success. Familiarity with the evacuation plan will foster a calm, safe, yet swift evacuation.
A fire in the workplace often involves three components: fire damage, smoke damage, and water damage. This complex disaster scene requires the right equipment, PPG, high-level training and expertise, and advanced cleaning techniques. SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak provides businesses with a rapid response and a quick cleanup and restoration process, so business operations can return to normal sooner rather than later.