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Fire safety is an essential aspect of any workplace, and it’s crucial to have proper fire safety procedures in place to protect your employees and your business. You should always be ready for any emergency at your workplace. But for that, specific strategies are recommended to implement at your office. In this blog, we will provide you with ten fire safety procedures for your office to help you maintain good fire protection standards. Make sure you can take quick action and escape as soon as a fire breaks out.
To protect yourself, your worker, and your property from the devastating impact of fire, you should implement some procedures and policies to prevent fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were an estimated average of 3,340 office fires in the United States each year between 2014 and 2018, resulting in an annual average of 17 civilian deaths, 106 civilian injuries, and $112 million in direct property damage. These statistics highlight the importance of having proper fire safety procedures in place to prevent and respond to fires in the workplace.
Investing in fire risk assessment training can be a great place to start. Risk assessment training would help in analyzing and identifying the potential risks and threats present at your office. By identifying these risks, you can implement specific control measures at your workplace to mitigate them.
However, it is important to remember that things can change over time. People at your office could move items from time to time, leave the doors open, remove signs, and even fire extinguishers can go missing. The structure or layout of an area can change due to maintenance and construction work. By regularly following fire safety procedures, you and your team will be prepared to act quickly should a fire start.
Here are the ten fire safety procedures that you should implement at your office:
Checking your escape routes
Emergency exits are there at your workplace to make sure that people can escape from fires quickly. But these emergency exit routes can be used for your daily purposes. Such everyday use can create problems, such as someone putting objects in front of the door that blocks access.
Therefore, you should regularly check the fire exits in your office and building. Just in case a fire breaks out, at least you and others would have clear routes to evacuate out of the building.
1. Test your alarm
Early fire detection and warning can make a huge difference. If you are alerted about the fire emergency at your office, then it would help you take procedures to help escape yourself and others to safety as soon as possible. Early warning is essential to give everyone time to escape and can stop a fire from spreading. But only if your fire alarms are working, they provide this.
You should draw up a schedule to check all the fire alarms at your office to see whether they are in working condition and can be heard throughout the building.
2. Test your equipment
Supplying the appropriate firefighting equipment, such as dry blankets and fire extinguishers, should be your prime responsibility as an employer. Works, but it is also important to also maintain such equipment to make sure that they work when needed. So that you are at peace knowing that you can rely on this firefighting equipment in case of an emergency.
In addition to the annual servicing of this firefighting equipment, you should also prefer visually checking it every week to observe any signs of use or damage.
3. Accessibility of fire extinguishers
What’s the use of fire extinguishers at your workplace if they are not available when needed? Therefore, you should always place such firefighting equipment in areas where they are easily accessible. So that in case of emergency, your staff could get hold of the extinguisher and prevent the situation from worsening.
4. Check your doors
Imagine evacuating out of the building and reaching the last door, getting the relief that it is the final exit, but unfortunately, it is locked. Yes, it is no short of a horror story, and nobody would want themselves in such a situation.
Your fire safety checks can help ensure that such a situation never happens to you or someone you know.
If there is a crisis, can all the final exit doors be opened quickly and easily? Ensure that the doors to the fire escape swing in the right direction. Speaking of fire doors, they must be closed in order to contain a fire. You should also make sure that they are kept open.
5. Safety course
Providing educational courses like fire awareness training would be crucial in ensuring that everyone in the workplace is familiar with how to respond in the event of a fire. Your fire safety training should cover topics such as evacuation procedures, the proper use of firefighting equipment, and how to prevent fires from occurring.
Fire safety training should be provided to all employees, including new hires, and should be updated regularly to ensure that everyone is up-to-date on the latest procedures and techniques.
6. Appointing designated persons
Appointing a designated person could put a competent person in the role of fire warden, who would be responsible in case of a fire emergency to help others evacuate out of the building and take things into their own hands. Fire wardens are responsible for ensuring that everyone in the workplace follows fire safety procedures and evacuation plans. They are also responsible for carrying out fire drills and ensuring that all firefighting equipment is in good working condition.
Fire wardens should be appropriately trained in fire safety and evacuation procedures and should be able to remain calm and organized during an emergency.
Signage and fire notices are essential for guiding others to safety in an emergency. If you are a worker for an office, you would be familiar with the emergency exit. But this is not the case with a visitor who got trapped in the situation due to an emergency. You should put yourself in the shoes of someone who is most probably not familiar with the entire building layout. Therefore, here are some of the key procedures that you should keep in mind to handle fire safety at your office:
- Does your workplace have enough signs?
- Are the signs correct and located in the right places?
- Is the sign clear and visible?
- Can the signs be followed?
- Do any signs need replacing?
8. Emergency contact details
In the event of an emergency, it’s important to have emergency contact details readily available. These contacts should include the fire department, the police, and any other relevant emergency services.
Your emergency contact details should be clearly displayed in a prominent location, and all employees should be aware of their location.
9. Keeping record
You should always keep a record of the assessments, fire training, equipment maintenance, and checks you have conducted at your workplace. Not only does this prove your compliance with health and safety regulations, but it also helps you manage fire safety within your premises.
In conclusion, implementing fire safety procedures in the workplace is crucial for the safety and well-being of your employees and the protection of your business. By conducting a fire risk assessment, implementing fire prevention measures, installing fire detection and alarm systems, having clear evacuation procedures, appointing fire wardens, providing firefighting equipment and emergency contact details, providing fire safety training, and conducting regular fire drills, you can significantly reduce the risk of fires and ensure that everyone in the workplace knows how to respond in the event of an emergency. Remember, fire safety is everyone’s responsibility, and taking steps to prevent fires and respond to emergencies can make all the difference in keeping your workplace safe.