Fires are a serious risk for businesses of all types. It’s up to you to take the proper precautions to keep yourself, your co-workers, and your customers safe from fire hazards.
Lower the Risks of Fire
There are some simple things you can do to prevent fires:
- Always comply with regulations.
- Obey “No Smoking” signs.
- Dispose of cigarettes and matches in the proper receptacles after ensuring they are completely extinguished.
- Watch for frayed electrical cords and overloaded circuits.
- Dispose of flammable wastes and scraps by placing them in metal containers.
Always store combustible materials in a safe area. Fumes can travel a considerable distance and become ignited by a furnace, stove, electrical equipment, or even a lit cigarette. If you need to dispose of flammable liquids, do not pour them down the drain. Educate yourself on the proper method of disposal.
If you have to burn wastepaper, make sure it doesn’t contain explosive materials, such as aerosol or paint.
Inspect Equipment Regularly
Proper maintenance procedures are important to fire safety. If you use electrical equipment or tools, inspect them regularly to make sure they are working correctly. Keep mechanical equipment properly lubricated to avoid excessive friction. Keep spark arrestors on exhaust systems.
Preparing for a Fire
- Become familiar with the location and operation of firefighting equipment.
- Learn where fire extinguishers are located and what types of fires they are to be used on.
- Participate in periodic fire drills to practice fire response procedures.
- Become familiar with the different types of alarms used in your workplace.
- Establish an employee meeting place.
When a Fire Breaks Out
- If the fire alarm rings, always treat it as a true emergency unless you are told ahead of time it is a drill. Just because you do not see smoke or flames does not mean a fire is not present.
- Always use the stairs instead of the elevator.
- If the room fills with smoke, stay low to the ground and get out as fast—but as safely—as you can.
Every day you’re on the job, take note of potential fire hazards and report them immediately to your supervisor. Always put safety first!