As a business owner, it’s easy to focus on one thousand other things than fire prevention. You know there’s a chance of fires in your workplace, but it never seems like a looming threat. Until it is. Because of the catastrophic loss and danger a fire can cause, it should be top of mind for all businesses. Implementing these five fire prevention tips can keep your team, your building, and your operations safe. See what they are and what you can do starting today.
- Regulate fire safety equipment. Equipment like smoke alarms and working fire sprinklers are critical for alerting and stopping fires fast. Perform regular checks and be sure everything is working properly and will work properly in the event of a fire. Fire extinguishers are often a first line of defense and should be placed throughout your facility in easily accessible locations. To ensure they function properly, perform routine inspections, service them annually, and inform your team where they are and train them how to use the fire extinguishers. Ensure your building’s exits and fire ladders, if you have them, are in safe working condition.
- Inspect electronics. Electrical fires account for many business fires annually. A great way to reduce this risk at your workplace is to check cords, electrical outlets, and cables. Make sure they are in good condition and are working properly. Look for frayed wires, cords that are too close to objects that could catch fire, overloaded outlets, and more. Replace and perform upkeep on electronics if they are not up to standards.
- Keep a clean workspace. Keeping all work areas clean not only helps prevent fires, but also prevents exits from being blocked if there is a fire. Don’t store boxes or place other large furniture items near exit points. If there is smoke in the air, maintaining clear walkways reduces tripping hazards and gives your team an easy path out. Another important area to clean is equipment that can gather dust, dirt, chemicals, or other fire hazards. Routine cleaning should be part of the job.
- Conduct emergency drills. Although an emergency drill won’t stop an actual fire, it can stop more danger to your team and damage to your building. Conduct fire and evacuation drills a couple of times a year to be sure your staff knows what to do and where to go if a fire breaks out. When new team members join, include fire safety training in their onboarding. Also, be sure to hang your fire evacuation plans throughout your building in case anyone forgets them or a visitor is on-site.
- Work with a safety services expert. Different industries will be presented with different fire hazards. One of the safest and best things you can do is to have a safety services expert inspect your workplace and identify threats unique to your building. A team member will meet with you for a walkthrough, point out areas in need of improvement, and help you implement solutions. It’s an efficient and effective way to reduce fires.
Remember: If a fire does start, notify team members of the fire immediately, call 9-1-1, and take the stairs (not the elevator) to safety. These actions can save time in critical moments and save lives.
With our five fire prevention tips, you can work safely and have added peace of mind. Want another layer of protection for your business? Get in touch with a local, independent agent to discuss what business insurance is best for your company.