Are you thinking about moving to a new office or maybe you own a startup company and you are opening your first very office? There are so many things you need to consider. From the lighting to the layout of each employee’s desks.
However, one often overlooked aspect of setting up a new office is the policy regarding fire safety in the workplace. This is crucial if you are to ensure your employees remain safe at all times and you don’t have a disaster.
Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of fire safety in the workplace.
- Saves Lives
The most important reason for fire safety in the workplace is that it saves lives. You might think that it’s unlikely a fire is going to take place but accidents do happen. And you want to know that as many of your employees will be safe in the event of an emergency.
Fire safety is firstly about having the right equipment to put out the fire: a fire extinguisher, fire safety doors that can be closed, and a smoke detector. But there’s no point in having any of these technological advances for fire prevention if your employees don’t know how to use them.
You need to make sure you have a protocol in place for if a fire breaks out. Consider the Intelligent PHA Methodology as one way of hazard analysis and prevention.
Every employee should know what they need to do and you should include some fire safety training for employees during their induction.
This training should include vital details such as where the fire escapes are and the route they need to take to evacuate. They need to know what to do if somebody remains in the building as the flames flicker higher and higher.
- Saves the Building
If you’ve just moved into a new building the last thing you want is to see that building go up in flames. More to the point any fire is likely to cause damage to the surrounding neighborhood.
The Grenfell Fire in Britain wreaked havoc because the fire cladding was not adequate and as a result, the fire spread throughout the whole building.
A fire prevention plan can ensure that you preserve the building. It should enable you to seal off different parts of the building if one section is on fire and to catch any fire early on.
If you and your employees inhabit an old building then ensure that it is kept up to date with the latest fire prevention innovations. There should be thick doors between the different sections, ensuring that the fire cannot spread so easily.
This way if one part of the building becomes consumed by flames you might stand a chance of saving the other areas. If you have wooden beams in your building they should be regularly coated with a fire retardant gloss.
You should also have CCTV that is monitored regularly so that you can alert everyone in the building about a fire as soon as possible and put it out.
- Save Money – Keep Your Insurance Company Happy
Implementing fire prevention tips is also important for the purposes of saving money. If you don’t follow the fire protocols properly your insurance company is unlikely to payout.
If you live in California then you will want to pay close attention to your insurance policy to see if it covers damage due to wildfires that have been getting out of control in 2020.
This can lead to costly bills to find a new office space that could bankrupt you, especially during a pandemic. But it could also lead to court cases that could cost you a lot of money and your company and even you becoming criminally liable for any damage or death caused by a fire.
If you are unsure what you need to do to make your company headquarters fire-safe then be sure to get in touch with a fire security agent and to even talk to your insurance company. They should have a detailed fire prevention policy that you should follow. Ask them to write to you if they update it.
Hazards to Avoid
There are some key hazards that you should avoid if you want to create a safe workplace for your employees. This includes making sure that any old electrical equipment is thrown out and not left lying around such as kettles in the staff canteen.
Electrical circuits and wiring should be services regularly to avoid faults. You should ensure that the floor of your building is clear of garbage to avoid anyone tripping over as they go to leave.
Fire exits should be clear at all times: don’t leave anything stacked against them or blocking them, however, tempting this might be.
Objects that get hot easily – lamps or even computers that tend to overheat should be artificially cooled when they get too hot. They should also be left isolated on their own and not near any objects that could catch on fire.
Smoking inside should never be permitted. It’s not only bad for those employees who don’t smoke, it’s also a major fire hazard. One cigarette not put out properly and the entire building could go up in smoke.
Fire Safety in the Workplace: Be Smart
Fire safety in the workplace might seem like a hassle and you think it’s low down on your list of priorities but it’s important you give it enough thought to prevent a horrific accident.
Failure to follow fire safety guidelines or to carry out workplace fire safety training can also lead to problems with your insurance paying out if an accident were to happen.
If you are interested in learning more about fire safety in the workplace be sure to check out the rest of our site.