A fire outbreak in the workplace is not as uncommon as you may think. The NFPA (National Fire and Protection Association) study between 2007-2011 showed an average of 3,340 fires in office buildings around the United States. These outbreaks are pretty dangerous. This article briefly discusses the primary causes of fire in the workplace, ways to prevent them, and what to do in the event of a fire outbreak.
Causes Of Fire In the Workplace
Workplace fire can be dangerous not only for the employees but also for the business. It can lead to loss of properties, vital documents, and may cause a heavy financial burden in terms of the cost of the repairs. Here are some of its leading causes:
Electric kettles, microwaves, and toasters are readily available in most offices today. Leaving these types of equipment unattended or forgetting to switch them off after use can be dangerous.
Electric Plugs And Extensions
Electric plugs that are not well fitted or overloaded extensions can electrocute a staff or lead to a fire outbreak.
Heating equipment, arson, smoking, and human error can also be ways in which fire can break out at the workplace.
How to Avoid a Fire Outbreak
The best way to avoid having a fire outbreak is to prevent it from happening. The saying prevention is better than cure plays well in this situation. First off, ensure that the required fire devices are present in the office space. These include a fire alarm, water sprinkler, fire extinguisher, and fire alarm signs. Having these devices in place is the first step to ensuring your business is secure.
According to leading safety experts, businesses, especially manufacturing facilities need to have certain safeguards in place to ensure that untoward incidents do not take place. One recent development in this regard has been the implementation of electric safeguard equipment. These are emergency stop switches, motor controls and other devices that are able to prevent major outbreaks. By having such a system at the workplace, you can limit your chances of being at the receiving end of a fire outbreak.
Doing this is especially important in a state like California, where the temperature is soaring high, and it’s easier for flammable materials to touch. The fire service experts at APFE Corp. advise performing regular maintenance for all fire devices. This will include changing the battery in the fire detector once every 10 years, checking the fire extinguishers’ work, and ensuring the alarm is functioning.
The second piece of advice is to appoint duty personnel. The appointed individual will be in charge of organizing fire drills, relevant workshops, and liaising with the company that helps maintain the pieces of fire equipment. The last tip is that employees should maintain safe practices to prevent a fire from starting.
What To Do In Case Of A Fire Outbreak
The first thing to do is to remain calm and call 911. Do not go for the elevators but the stairs. If the stairs are unavailable because of the fire, then you should open the window and stay as far away from the fire as possible. If trapped in a room, you can use wet clothes to block the open space in the door and then call for help while waving your hands towards the window to signal anyone from the outside. Use the available fire extinguishers, if there are any, to help stop the fire. Different fire extinguishers are effective against the fire depending on how it started, so you should be familiar with them.
If all fire devices are in good condition, the fire alarm should have alerted you about the outbreak, and you and your employees should gather at the designated spot.
The importance of installing the proper fire equipment and understanding the causes of fire cannot be overemphasized. Understanding the reason to install this equipment can be a real lifesaver. It may seem like an expensive investment, but if a fire ever breaks out, you would be grateful you had them installed.