The man might be able to separate himself from animals by his ability to control fire. But, this comes at a price. As man continues to attempt to control fire, fire reminds man that there are moments when it does not want to be controlled.
When fires get out of control at the workplace, tragedies can strike. This is why it is important for fire safety to be taken seriously. Reliable fire prevention is a necessity in every workplace, even in the corporate setting.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for fire safety at the workplace. They include specific numbers of egresses, management of hazardous materials, installation of fire protection systems, and creating emergency management plans in case of fires.
Following the standards set by OSHA is the minimum that businesses should do to keep their employees safe. In the corporate setting, businesses should do even more.
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Put smoke detectors in every room.
Smoke detectors are key to keeping people safe. Building and Safety Codes have various requirements for smoke detectors. Whatever it is in your jurisdiction, your office should exceed it.
It is one thing to install smoke detectors, but they also need to be maintained. To ensure that everyone is safe, it is wise to install both ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors. They should be tested monthly. If the smoke detectors have batteries, they should be replaced once per year or more than that. To protect people with auditory disabilities, visual alarms should also be installed.
Keep the workplace free of clutter.
To be sure that everyone can get out of a corporate building in case of a fire, it is vital that all means of egress are accessible. There are offices that have so much clutter that doors are blocked. Don’t let that be your business.
Along with blocking means of egress, clutter can act as tinder for fires. Piles of paper can easily burn. Keep your paper and clutter under control for the safety of your employees.
Designate a smoking area.
While many municipalities have outlawed smoking inside of businesses, it is still wise for businesses to arrange dedicated smoking areas for their employees. These areas will most likely be outside. To keep the areas safe, employers can provide safety features like sand-filled ashtrays. This way, cigarette butts can be properly extinguished. If you don’t designate a safe place for smoking, people will pick a space and it might not be safe.
Conduct regular fire drills.
Your employees should know what to do if a fire does occur. Fire drills should be regularly conducted and specific roles should be established. During the drills, the equipment should be inspected. Drills should be conducted in a variety of conditions, with the lights out, in different weather, and with different exits blocked.
Set rules for use of electric outlets.
When employees bring items like space heaters or personal phone chargers, employers can lose track of the objects that are plugged into electrical outlets. To prevent problems with electrical outlets, business should set standards for what employees can and cannot use in their spaces. When outlets are overloaded or electrical cords become frayed fire dangers increases.