Did you know that, according to OSHA, fire is the most common type of emergency for small businesses? Fire prevention and fire safety is crucial in order to prevent ignition, limit development of the fire, and reduce destruction if a fire ignites.
Smoke detectors should be placed in every room or office. Commercial buildings require a smoke detector in every room and hallway. It goes without saying that smoke detectors should be functioning properly. Battery operated detectors should be checked every month to ensure they’re still working, and their batteries should be replaced once or twice per year.
As with smoke detectors, you should also have fire extinguishers in your office. Employers have a responsibility to their employees to educate them on their use and the hazards that may come with using them to fight fires. Annual training is recommended, as well as when a new employee starts. Most fire extinguishers operate using the same technique, PASS, which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. Training should cover proper operation of the fire extinguisher, as well as choosing the correct extinguisher for the type of fire burning.
Do you know where to go if there’s a fire in your office? Do you know the best path to get outside? Workplaces must have an effective evacuation plan in case of a fire. If the fire progresses, you are unable to extinguish it, or you feel uncomfortable attempting to extinguish it, you should try to safely evacuate. If the smoke, fire, or heat blocks your planned evacuation path, attempt to find a new way out of the building.
Hopefully you will never have to utilize a fire evacuation plan, but if you do, it’s good to have knowledge on the proper procedures. In addition to having properly functioning smoke detectors, practice fire prevention every day. That means unplugging technology that isn’t being used, safely lighting candles and blowing them out when you leave the room, fixing faulty wires that could cause a spark, not overloading power strips, and making sure everything in your building is up-to-code.
Smoke inhalations, burns, and other injuries from fires can be incredibly dangerous. If you experience a fire, be sure you get medical attention immediately.