Residential and commercial fires are nothing new. You never know when such an emergency will arise, which is why it’s always a good idea to stay prepared.
With that in mind, let’s explore four things you must do to ensure fire safety at your office.
#1 Start by Developing a Fire Safety Plan
The first and most important step in ensuring fire safety at your workplace is to develop an effective fire safety plan. This plan is a set of outlines highlighting the procedures people inside the office must follow to prevent, detect, and respond to a fire emergency.
Your office fire safety plan must include information regarding where all the emergency fire exits are located, how to reach these exits, where to assemble during an emergency, and who is responsible for responding to the emergency. The plan should also highlight where the fire safety equipment is located and how to access them.
Don’t settle on a fire safety plan thinking it to be a one-shot thing. Review and update the plan regularly as you find necessary. It’s best if you can do the reviews at least twice a year. An immediate review might be necessary if there’s a sudden fire at the workplace.
#2 Make Sure Fire Safety Equipment is Always Available
Without the right fire safety equipment, it’s impossible to deal with a fire at your office. Your employees won’t know how to handle the fire in this case. Even if they do, they won’t have the proper equipment to keep the fire in control.
Therefore, always make sure you have all the equipment necessary in stock and up-to-date, especially in the case of fire extinguishers.
Install smoke detectors on every floor. Sprinkler systems must also be installed alongside the detectors. Whenever the alarm goes off, you can automate the sprinklers to go off as well. Just make sure this feature is turned off during fire drills. Otherwise, you might end up damaging thousands of dollars worth of office equipment and resources.
The fire alarm needs to be loud and installed on every floor, room, and hallway of your office. There should also be emergency lighting that can provide illumination if there’s a power outage during the fire or if thick smoke lowers the visibility.
When you’re purchasing a fire extinguisher, make sure it doesn’t have any toxic chemicals. The recent AFFF Lawsuit situation has many worried. The AFFF Fire Fighting Foam has been found to contain a variety of toxic chemicals.
People have developed cancer due to AFFF exposure. If such chemicals are being used in firefighting foam, there’s a chance they might also be present in residential and commercial fire extinguishers. Thus, check with your supplier to avoid such extinguishers.
Assign someone to make sure that your firefighting equipment is always up-to-date and in stock.
#3 Organize Regular Fire Safety Training
If you want your employees to act and respond to a fire emergency at the workplace, you must first show them how to do so. That’s where fire safety training comes to play. Here, the employees will learn how to use a fire extinguisher or fire-extinguishing ball, assemble and make their way to the fire exit, help emergency responders during the emergency, and so on.
Fire safety training should be provided to all employees. A select few should be tasked to take on leadership responsibilities when such an emergency arises in real life. Their task is to oversee the fire safety plan and implement it however necessary.
For the training itself, have someone or a team from the local fire department come over to your office and provide hands-on training.
#4 Keep Your Workplace Clean and Conduct Regular Drills
Keeping the workplace clean and tidy helps lower the chances of a freak fire accident or any major fire damage. It also allows you to run to safety quickly and easily if there’s ever an emergency.
Make sure the fire exit signs and emergency lights are always functional. Never block the fire exits. They should be in an open space so that people can easily run outside through them.
As for the drills, have a fire safety instructor come over from the local fire department and have them organize the drill. Everything you and your employees learned during the fire safety training will be put to the test during these drills, which will also better prepare you if there’s ever an actual fire.
Whenever there’s a fire, speed is of utmost importance. Therefore, keep these tips in mind if you want to ensure the safety of your office and properly respond to any fire emergencies over there.