Safety Services Company
February 25th 2013
The views expressed in this and other guest-posts are those of the author, and do not reflect the opinions of Safety Services Company.
Fire safety is critical because of the unpredictable and destructive nature of the flames, once a blaze has started. Here are some safety tips you can easily implement in pretty much any workplace to prevent such a damaging occurrence.
Of course, you want to never need to evacuate because you never want a fire to occur. First, look around your work area for items that can catch fire such as extra papers or boxes. Organize and stack the papers and boxes that you need to keep. Then, toss whatever is not needed in a recycling bin. You also want to keep your trash bin cleaned out. Many office fires start in trash bins of cubicles or personal offices. Heat from electronic devices can result in fire if the heat is exposed to something like paper for a prolonged period of time. So, keep your area neat and organized, keep the trash bin empty and make sure that your electronic equipment is not up against anything flammable.
A cord that is slightly frayed is a major fire hazard. Think about how many times you have looked closely at the cords in your work area in the last year. You probably have not done it because most people simply do not think about it. If a cord is a bit worn, the worn area can get hotter and if something flammable is placed on or near it, a blaze could erupt. So, check your cords and make sure that they are where people won’t step on them.. If you notice a worn out cord, then contact your supervisor or janitorial team to get it replaced right away. Do not be afraid to speak up about this because you are preventing a fire by ensuring all cords are in good shape.
Circuits can be overloaded and result in a fire. You want to make sure that the circuits you have can handle everything running on them. Seek out a trained electrician if you do not have the electrical knowledge to determine this. Having an electrician come in once or twice a year to look at your electronic equipment and circuits is a really good idea. They can provide a complete assessment for safety and help you replace what is worn down, and help you expand your circuit power so that you do not have to worry about overloading.
If you are not using it, then turn it off. This prevents overloading of circuits and helps to save on electricity. When you leave the office for the day, turn everything off. Most electronics do not need to run 24/7: computers, printers, coffee makers and other equipment in your workplace. This will save you money on your energy bill too so this is a total win-win for your company.
We touched on this above when talking about keeping excess paper to a minimum. Electronic equipment can get hot when on and used for a prolonged period of time. An eight-hour workday is plenty of time for computers, copiers and coffee makers to get really warm. Look at your office coffee maker and make sure that nothing is up against it Napkins and paper cups can catch fire when exposed to a lot of heat. Computers should never be set on paper or have other flammable items placed up against it. Put your laptop or computer on a fire-safe surface and make sure that there is room around it. Your office copier should not be shoved against the wall or have boxes of fresh paper right next to it. Make sure that there are at least six inches between the copier and the wall and other items.