In the past five years, fire-related deaths have soared in certain areas of Canada. While some may be unavoidable, with the right safety measures in place lots of these do not have to happen.
Below, we give our essential tips to ensure correct fire safety in the workplace.
An evacuation strategy is essential and going without one is illegal. An evacuation strategy lets people know which way to exit the building in case of fire. This ensures they don’t get further into danger or get lost in the building.
A quality evacuation procedure should also include a meeting place. This allows people to check that everyone has left the building and is safe.
Of course, this is only good if everyone knows the policy. Ensure it is included in your fire safety training for employees and a map is posted at points around the building.
At the minimum, your company should have one person who is in charge of fire safety activities and implementation. As your business grows this number should grow with.
A group of designated employees is advisable if you have more than 50 people in your company. The fire wardens’ task, or the groups, should include everything from implementing procedures to conducting walkthroughs, calculating risk, and planning regular fire safety training for employees.
Prevention is often as good as a cure. By identifying risks, you have the option to stop them from occurring before they even happen. You will find that certain businesses can be at a much higher risk of fires than others because of this.
Numerous workplace hazards could cause fire, from cooking appliances to lighting and even down to where people go to smoke. Make sure you list the ones applicable to your area and come up with ways to minimize the risks.
First of all, you should have a working fire alarm and sprinkler system. If not, then make sure you invest in the installation of one. In many cases, this is a legal necessity.
These are useless if you don’t know how they work and you don’t regularly test them. Do this at least once a month by pushing the button on every alarm. If this is connected to a call center, make sure you notify them and your staff when you will be testing.
As well as alarms and sprinkler systems, there are several items you should have access to on the premises. Mainly, these are fire extinguishers, though you may also consider fire blankets and other items.
All this equipment also has to be accessible, so people can get to it in an emergency. It should not be hidden behind furniture or decorations and should be at hand. If you are at risk of fire from oils and chemicals, then make sure you have the correct fire extinguishers in the right areas.
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, get in touch, we would be happy to assist.