3 Simple Fire Prevention Tips for Businesses
If you’re a fan of the TV show “The Office,” then you probably remember the episode where a small kitchen fire totally derails an entire day of work. The entire staff spends the day goofing off outside, even devising song parodies to tease the temp whose inability to use a toaster oven led to the fire in the first place.
While it makes for funny TV, a scene like this in real life would be enough to make any business owner’s blood turn cold. An entire day of work gone just because someone couldn’t figure out how to heat their cheese pita? That’s a lot of money down the drain.
From that perspective, then, investing in fire prevention isn’t just a smart way to keep your employees safe. It’s a business investment that pays off by preventing property damage and wasted time.
Here are three tips for preventing fires at your business.
Minimize potential fire hazards.
Many commercial fires are totally preventable. They’re the product of responsible business owners not having the time or the knowledge to find and fix fire hazards. Take some time today to walk through your business and look for potential issues, including:
- Dirty or improperly maintained equipment;
- Combustible objects stored near heaters or furnaces;
- Flammable items not put away in cabinets;
- Broken or fraying appliance cords;
- Lack of proper circulation around appliances;
- Overtaxed power outlets.
Maintain fire safety equipment.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- When’s the last time that you checked your smoke detectors?
- Do you know where your fire extinguishers are stored?
- Are there enough extinguishers throughout your building?
- Are any of the extinguishers expired?
- Do your extinguishers show any signs of damage or loss of pressure?
- Have you invested in a sprinkler system?
- Has it been properly maintained?
It can be easy to forget about maintaining your fire safety equipment, but it’s vital that you’re ready if and when disaster strikes.
Make a fire prevention and safety plan.
Devising a detailed fire prevention and safety plan and communicating it with your staff is just as important as investing in equipment. The most sophisticated fire prevention system in the world is worth nothing if no one knows that to do when a fire actually breaks out.
Your plan should include the following:
- Evacuation plans, including meetup sites;
- Explanations of how staff will be alerted in case of fire;
- Explanations of accommodations needed for disabled employees, like those in wheelchairs or who have difficulty hearing;
- Locations of fire prevention equipment, including fire extinguishers;
- Plans for routine fire drills;
- Warnings about common fire hazards around the office.
While you can’t prevent accidents from happening, if you follow these tips, you’ll stay as safe as possible from fires in your business.