Tips for Improving Fire Safety in the Workplace
No one likes to think about a fire breaking out in the office or warehouse that they own or manage, but it does happen and it can be very costly in terms of property damage and of course injuries and lives lost. Improving fire safety should be as important as any other part of ensuring that your staff has a safe workplace, and sometimes just a few simple things you do can make your workplace much safer for everyone. Note a few simple tips you'll want to remember to improve fire safety in your business.
1. Go beyond building codes for fire door ratings
Fire doors are rated according to how long they can keep a fire from spreading from one area to another, based on their overall material, density, and the like. The rating will be in terms of minutes, so a rating of 30 means 30 minutes, and so on. Local building codes may dictate the fire rating for interior office doors, but consider those codes as a minimum to follow. Increase fire safety between your office and the warehouse or other such spaces by choosing a door with a higher fire rating, or opting for a steel door rather than wood. By going above and beyond codes, you increase your staff's safety in case of a fire.
2. Shut off all the lights
A fire drill can be good for rehearsing how workers will get out of the office if an alarm should sound, but in a real fire, the power may fail and the lights go out. Try this same scenario with your staff, telling them what you're doing and planning this in advance so no one panics, and note if they can easily find their way to the exits. You may see that glow-in-the-dark signs directing them to an exit or stronger lighting for exit signs can be needed.
3. Inventory the hot equipment in the office
Heat and fabric don't mix; this is why it's good to inventory the hot equipment in the office. This means space heaters, mug warmers, and equipment that vents heat out the back such as large printers and copy machines. Every month or so, do an inventory of how close they are positioned to drapes, papers, and fabric furniture. Ensure your employees know to keep them far away from these items, but don't rely on them to be diligent about this. Perform a check every month so you know these things are safe and not likely to cause a fire in your office.
Lastly, make sure everyone knows how to access the fire equipment.