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3 Easy Steps To FireProof Your Office

Fire Safety Culture

We have seen an increasing number of office fires in recent years. This is due to the increased use of combustible materials in offices and the presence of a large amount of electric appliances such as computers, fax machines, photocopiers, etc., which produce large amounts of heat.

Smoking is also a major contributor to fires in offices. In order to prevent fire hazards in an office environment, it is necessary for both employers AND employees to develop a fire safety culture.

Employees should know where the emergency exits are located. All emergency exits should be clearly signposted and illuminated during emergency situations.

See also >>Fire & Emergency Lighting – What You Need To Know<<

It is important that employees know how to activate the fire alarm and that they are familiar with the emergency fire procedures.

Regular fire drills should be conducted. No smoking should be allowed in the building or within the offices themselves (except in designated areas). If a fire breaks out, employees should follow the evacuation procedures carefully– evacuate immediately; do not waste time trying to save any personal belongings. Fire extinguishers must be kept near all electrical outlets (plugs/holes/outlets) and stoves/cookers which are used for cooking purposes. They should also be placed near exits so that they can easily be reached during an emergency situation.

 

Invest In a Fire safety Plan

If you do not have a fire safety plan in place then it is recommended that you develop one. You need to identify any fire risks and take steps to reduce them. One of the ways of doing this is by conducting periodic building inspections. This will enable you to identify any fire hazards and take action to eliminate them. The most common cause of fires in an office environment is with electrical wiring, equipment such as computers, telephones and photocopiers. Fires spread rapidly so the best precautionary measure is to evacuate the premises if a fire does break out.
It is important that employees know how to use the fire alarm to alert others that they are evacuating the premises. Building evacuation procedures should be practised regularly, at least once every six months, so staff know what to do in case of a fire outbreak. Businesses need to have an evacuation plan in place for emergencies so that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. This needs to be included in your business continuity plan because if there is a fire and someone does not know where to go or what actions they should take then it could lead to serious injuries or even death.

See also >> Why every building owner should have a fire safety plan<<

Install the necessary fire protection equipment

Fire protection is critical for the safety of workers, particularly in office buildings. There are multiple types of fire protection installations, ranging from smoke detectors to sprinkler systems. The first line of defense is smoke detectors. All commercial and industrial buildings are required to have smoke detectors installed in a number of key areas. These include hallways, restrooms, stairwells, lobbies and other places where people may congregate. When installing smoke detectors, be sure to follow all local codes to ensure proper installation.
It’s also important to regularly test the smoke detectors. In addition, make sure that everyone who works in your building knows what the sound of a smoke detector means and how to react if one goes off. A fire suppression system is the next line of defense against fire in your office building. Such systems can be either water-based systems or dry chemical systems (known as “clean agent” systems). Water-based systems involve piping pressurized water through pipes around the building and releasing it when a fire is detected. Dry chemical systems involve spraying a chemical powder on flames as they start to form. Water-based systems generally cost less than dry chemical systems and take less time to install because they can use existing plumbing, but they require regular maintenance and must be inspected periodically by a licensed fire protection specialist.

Each year, there are a number of fires in  offices. These fires can be started by employees and guests alike. Be sure that your premises are protected with an office fire suppression system, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and appropriate signage to warn your tenants of the potential danger that could result from an undetected fire. It is the duty of every business to stay protected from any fire danger.
Install sufficient fire protection equipment, test them regularly and stay informed about your office fire safety.

Yours In Fire Safety

Alex

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