If you manage a workplace, fire safety is vital yet often overlooked responsibility and therefore essential to the smooth operation of your business. Not only do fire safety activities save lives, but it also builds and promotes your team morale (which is the “carrot”) and sadly there is also the “stick”: it is possible to be fined if your business does not comply. Fear not, the fire specialists at Western Canada Fire Protection are here to help. Below, we detail fire safety activities to try out with your staff.
When a fire does occur, it is easy for panic to set in. You don’t want staff struggling to operate essential equipment at the moment. That is why it pays to refresh their training on fire extinguisher use and the correct way to use them.
As well as how to operate, let them know about the different types of fire extinguishers. For example, kitchen fires should not use water-based models as they are generally oil or electricity based. You may also want to train them to use other items, such as fire blankets.
While doing this, you can also begin inspecting fire extinguishers to see if they are in working order. You should have them located at various points around the building, which your staff should know. They need to know when the use of an extinguisher is appropriate and when they should call emergency services.
An evacuation plan is not a one size fits all method. Different parts of your building will need clear, individual exit strategies. It is not always the nearest exit that is the safest either, and you want a flow so that everyone leaves in the same direction.
Make sure you also consider anyone with mobility issues. You cant use lifts in the event of a fire, so you must work out how they will exit. You may employ lightweight evacuation chairs so that people can be assisted out.
Even a small office can have fire hazards in it. These workplace hazards increase when you have kitchens or a laboratory. If you identify them with your staff, they also have a better chance of remembering them.
Once identified, create ways in which you can minimize the causes of fires. For example, you may wish to include this on fire safety posters or signs around the room.
There are more than fire extinguishers that need checking. Your building will have a whole host of items designed to help you keep the building safe. Smoke alarms and sprinkler systems are the most common ones.
Verify that each of these works correctly and make sure they are accessible. You should also ensure that any control panels are easy to access so power can shut down as a fire prevention strategy.
Train your staff on how these work and what they should do to get them working. Remember that hefty fines will occur if you do not comply with fire safety.
Everyone wants to work in a clean environment, but many people do not realize that rubbish and clutter can be one of the leading causes of fire spreading fast. The less you have in the building, the less fuel fire has.
If you use flammable materials onsite, follow regulations on how and where they can be stored. Then, make sure they are disposed of correctly. This should be delivered during fire safety activities so everyone knows the correct methods.
Western Canada Fire Protection is Vancouver Island’s premier source for corporate fire protection consulting and training. If you are not sure what your office needs, or where to start in fire safety activities, get in touch, we would be happy to assist.