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Fire prevention: How to build an effective fire safety plan

19-07-2012

fire extinguishers

With summer in full swing and temperatures getting hotter every day, the reality of a workplace fire is more real than ever. To protect workers’ safety, it is important that employers and employees map out a fire safety plan.

When developing an emergency fire plan, it is critical to take certain things into consideration. Obviously, the most important goal to focus on is preventing workplace fires from happening in the first place. However, sometimes fires can spread so quickly that the only option is to safely evacuate everyone from the building. Here are some things to consider when developing a fire prevention and safety strategy:

Fundamentals of Fire Prevention:
In every workplace, it is important to have some sort of fire prevention plan. This set of rules if followed by all employees will drastically reduce the risk of accidental fires around the workplace caused by human error. It is important to list major fire hazards common in your workplace, proper handling and storing of fire hazards, control procedures for ignition sources and many other prevention techniques. It is also critical that these criteria be reviewed by employees and easily available in written form so employees are always aware of the company’s fire prevention strategy.

Emergency Exit Components
When devising your emergency exit plan, it is important to ask yourself a couple of questions. First, do you know how you would escape your workplace in an emergency? Second, do you know where all the exits are in case your first choice is obstructed? Lastly, are you sure the doors will be unlocked and that the way of access to the exit and exit discharge is not blocked? Having answers to these questions may be the difference between life and death in the event of a fire in your workplace.

Fire Alarm Protocol
Another critical component of fire safety plans are the use and availability of fire alarms. Employers need to make sure that employees are aware of the locations of a workplaces fire alarms and knows how to properly operate them. Employees also need to understand under what circumstances constitute whether or not a fire alarm should be sounded and what procedures to follow when the alarm is sounded.

Portable Fire Extinguishers
Having a portable fire extinguisher and a person who is trained to use it is another essential facet of an effective fire safety plan. It is also important to understand what kind of fire extinguisher your workplace has, and to ensure that it is always up to date and capable of putting out small fires.

If employers and employees consider all of these vitally important components when devising their fire safety plan, they can greatly minimize the risk of an office fire and know how to appropriately react in the event of a fire emergency that requires an evacuation of the building.

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