In 2007, a Washington state McDonald’s burned to the ground because of a grease fire. As the flames overtook the building, the question in many onlookers’ minds was could this event have been impeded. The answer is yes. Unless arson plays a role, there are several ways to prevent fires at work. Here’s how:
1. Train employees. Help them understand fire safety and what to do if one occurs. You can handout manuals and even invite in a local firefighter. Provide this kind of instruction on a yearly basis, so your employees are always up-to-speed.
2. Do practice drills. Around three times a year, do practice drills. Pretend there is a fire and have employees exit the building. Make sure, before hand, that workers know which doors to use and where to meet on the grounds. The safest place will be a few feet away from the building such as the parking lot.
3. Buy fire extinguishers. These pieces of equipment help put out all types of flames, including sparks started by grease and electricity. Prevent fires at work by putting one fire extinguisher on each floor. Then, make sure these items are visible to all employees and they all know how to use them.
4. Prohibit portable heaters. These heating accessories are popular with many employees, especially women. The only problem is that they often can short out or get too hot. This reality can lead to fire. If you can’t see yourself telling your workers to leave their portable heaters at home, set up a few rules. The main one should be that all heaters are to be shut off and unplugged at the absence of humans.
5. Create policies on cooking. Prevent fires at work in this way because you save employees from themselves. Don’t allow workers to bring hot plates or crock-pots to work. For potlucks, ask them to preheat food or use microwaves. Make clear that you can’t afford to accommodate too many personal electrical items. Also, the liability caused by certain types of cookers is too dangerous.
6. Designate ‘safe’ smoking areas. Ask your cigarette-smoking employees to go into one of them when they want a puff. Be sure these spots have ashtrays and workers know to not drop ashes or smoldering cigarettes onto the ground. If you see people ignoring the rules, call them out. Whatever they think of you will be worth the safety of others.
These are six ways to prevent fires at work. Employ them and keep your building and staff safe from the effect of a careless act.
Also see: Prevent a Fire in Your Home