Structural fires are devastating. One small flame can quickly spread out of control. You may have a safety plan for your home, but do you have one for work? Whether required by law or not, an office should do everything they can to have the best fire safety. It’s vital that every workplace is outfitted with the proper equipment and staff procedures to handle a fire.
Good fire safety starts with your equipment. Laws mandate certain equipment requirements in order to stay compliant with codes. Many companies work with experienced and licensed providers to keep stay up to date with the ever-changing rules. Your provider will be able to supply, install, test, and maintain a variety of equipment.
Not all fire extinguishers are the same. You likely know that extinguishers are available in different sizes. They are also available in four different classes to cover the four varieties of fires. The location of each extinguisher will affect which type is right to install. They must be properly mounted and tagged.
There are two types of alarms needed: carbon monoxide and smoke. Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless, and odorless gas. A functional detector with an alarm is the only way to detect a gas leak early. Smoke is often the first telltale sign of a fire. A smoke detector will automatically set off the fire alarm to alert you to quickly exit the building. Don’t ignore a chirping smoke alarm. That is a sign the batteries need to be changed to continuing working. Fire alarms can also be set off by manually pulling them.
A sprinkler system is the first line of defense to contain a fire while emergency teams are on their way. Sprinklers can save both lives and property. Wet, dry, or foam sprinkler systems should all routinely be inspected and serviced.
Fires can lead to many direct and indirect injuries. Your office needs to have the proper first aid equipment available. First aid kits will include basic supplies like antibiotic ointment, pain relievers, ace bandages, and bandaids. They should also include an automated external defibrillator. A defibrillator is used to treat certain types of heart attacks until medical teams arrive.
There are a plethora of signs that should be located around every workplace to keep it safe. Buildings should have maps showing the best fire escape route along with lit-up exit signs. Other signs show the building is fire compliant, mark fire extinguishers, mark sprinklers, and more.
Fire hoses are required in high-rise buildings. The hose, and its corresponding equipment, should be inspected by trained technicians. Hose equipment includes nozzles, couplings, valves, reducers, and standpipes.
Fires can cause power outages. It is necessary to have emergency lighting to guide people out of dark buildings. In addition to glowing exit signs, buildings should also have glowing safety tape illuminating paths. There must be backup lights that run from an alternative power source.
Having the proper equipment can only take you so far. If fire prevention fails, staff needs to know how to respond. Staff should be prepared through education and practice.
All staff should go through fire safety education. Teach what is expected from everyone in case of an emergency. Everyone in the building should know their best evacuation routes, how to read evacuation maps, and how to activate the fire alarm. Each staff member needs to know where fire equipment is located and how to use it efficiently. However, office staff members are not firefighters. If the blaze is out of control, it is important to exit the building quickly. No one should risk themselves to contain the fire.
The saying goes that practice makes perfect. If it is feasible, staff should have the opportunity to practice using some of the fire safety equipment. At the very least, the building ought to have practice fire drills. It may seem silly and inconvenient to practice leaving a building, but it can make a real difference.
Always be prepared for the worst. You may not be able to stop a fire, but you can make sure your office is prepared to stay safe. Get high-quality, functional equipment, and make sure every single staff member is familiar with fire protocol.