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19 Feb 2016

Fire Prevention Checklist – The Workplace

Most of us spend at least 40 hours/week at work. That’s why it’s just as important to ensure your wellbeing when you’re on the clock as when you’re on the couch. Here’s a helpful checklist to keep you and your co-workers safe from fire…

  • Test smoke detectors. Ensure that the batteries are full and that each unit is working properly. Check all hardware at least once a month.
  • Check for overloaded outlets & extension cords. It only takes one cord too many to start an inferno. Distribute power sensibly and be sure no cords are worn or frayed.
  • Check appliance cords, repairing any that are worn. If you do find a cord in need of repair, unplug the appliance immediately and have it serviced.
  • Ensure that space heaters are 3 feet away from walls & curtains. It’s surprising how quickly these materials can catch fire.
  • Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day. An unplugged appliance can’t cause harm. Better safe than sorry!
  • Keep work areas clear of clutter that could catch fire. If your workspace is a mess, it’s difficult to identify potential hazards.
  • Keep copiers, coffee makers & computers away from flammables. This kind of hardware can become hot when being operated. Use common sense with anything that emits heat.
  • Keep oily, greasy rags in sealed containers. By their very nature, these materials are fires waiting to happen and must be segregated.
  • Maintain machinery to prevent friction & overheating. Well maintained machinery doesn’t pose a threat. Make sure your gear is functioning properly.
  • Report all electrical hazards immediately. Left unattended, electrical issues can lead to fires within the walls that are very difficult to control.
  • Don’t attempt electrical repairs! Call a professional. Unless you’re a qualified electrician, don’t attempt to fix electrical issues yourself. Call in a pro.
  • Keep area clear in front of electrical control panels. If there’s an electrical issue, you may need to cut the power quickly. Don’t let anything get in your way!
  • Store chemicals safely in their original containers. Containers are often designed specifically for the chemicals which they store. Additionally, some chemicals can react when introduced to the residual of other chemicals.
  • Use non-sparking tools & control static electricity where necessary. All it takes is one spark. Using the right tools goes a long way in fire prevention.
  • To avoid arson, secure your workspace after hours. Arson, although rare, is a very real threat. Mitigate the risk! Secure your workspace at the end of the day.
  • Report all suspicious behavior. Often, arson attempts can be thwarted by a little vigilance. Be aware and act on your suspicions. They could be right!
  • Don’t leave combustible garbage outside the building. Apart from the natural risk that excess combustibles pose, they’re also an invitation for arsons.
  • Smoke in designated areas & extinguish materials when done. Although decreasing in popularity, smoking is still a leading cause of fires. Butt out!
  • Keep sprinklers clear & fire extinguishers accessible. Most workplaces are equipped with firefighting tools. Make sure yours are in proper working order.
  • Learn how to use the fire extinguisher. There’s no point having firefighting tools if you don’t know how to use them. Make sure that everyone in your workplace is equipped with the knowledge needed to take action.
  • Memorize at least 2 evacuation routes. Even a familiar workplace can become confusing and disorienting when it’s filled with smoke. Plan at least 2 escape routes and make sure you can navigate them with your eyes shut.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers in an accessible area. When things get hot, it’s crucial that you and your co-workers have access to assistance. Keep those emergencies numbers updated and easy to source!

Fire watch can save you a lot of trouble. Learn more about it.

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