Knowing what your fire risks are and how you can stop them becoming an issue is vital to your workplace health, safety and emergency evacuation plans.
We’ve listed the top six workplace fire risks you should aim to minimise in order to avoid loss of business and potential injury to staff or visitors, so you can take your fire safety planning to the next level!
Ensure you have a designated smoking area away from flammable materials, including dry grass or trees, chemicals and waste or recycling bins. During fire safety training or other OHS courses, make sure your staff know and understand the dangers associated with smoking at your workplace. Encourage smokers to refrain from smoking at work if possible.
Faulty Electrical Equipment
A common one! That old kitchen toaster might still be popping out burnt bread, but is it really safe? Have all electrical items regularly and professionally tagged and tested throughout your workplace to ensure they’re appropriate for use. Also make sure the right fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets, are installed in high risk areas.
Misuse of Equipment
Accidentally or deliberately misusing workplace equipment results in hundreds of preventable fires each year. Avoid this by ensuring all staff are inducted and trained to properly use each piece of equipment and having the appropriate fire safety equipment installed nearby.
It happens, but it doesn’t need to be catastrophic. It’s not unheard of for someone to knock their coffee into a computer or a lit cigarette into flammable liquids, so plan for these eventualities by keeping a separation between the kitchen area and electrical equipment and the smoking area from everything else. And don’t forget to have fire safety equipment nearby!
An increasingly common cause of fire and particularly prevalent on larger industrial worksites. Keeping all flammable materials cleared from around your building will give vandals and arsonists less to work with, while fire sprinklers and monitored alarm systems will ensure an effective response after hours. Other security measures, such as automatic lighting and CCTV will also deter potential arsonists.
If having combustible materials at your workplace is a necessity, ensure their risk is minimised with careful planning. Create processes for the storage, handling, moving and disposal of these products, and ensure all staff working with them have the right training. The installation of appropriate fire safety equipment is also vital.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of what can go wrong with fire hazards in your workplace, we hope it’s enough to get you thinking about the ones specific to your business.
For more information about workplace fire safety, or to make an appointment for our expert fire safety team to visit your workplace, simply give our friendly Melbourne fire services team a call today!