Fire is one of the top risks to any small business. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) in 2016, there was a structure fire reported every 66 seconds with over 29% being caused by cooking equipment. Local safety codes dictate the minimum fire protection requirements for businesses to operate legally however, practicing smart fire safety is something all employees should know.
Essential Business Fire Prevention Tips
There are many factors when it comes to business fire prevention and maintenance. In order to protect yourself and your business, here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Maintain an organized workplace. Avoid clutter and keep all hallways, walkways, and doorways clear.
- Store oily rags in a fire retardant or metal container and make sure to dispose of them regularly and properly.
- Prevent overheating and friction sparks through regular machinery maintenance.
- Report any electrical hazards like faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment right away. Never attempt repairs yourself, unless you are a qualified professional.
- Keep access to all electrical panels free and clear. Material and equipment stored in front of them may hinder your ability to shut down power quickly in an emergency.
- Be familiar with the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This will inform you on how to properly handle and store chemicals in any environment.
- Use precaution in potentially explosive atmospheres like ones containing flammable liquid vapors and fine particles.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Keep appliances clean, free of crumbs, grease, and other food debris.
- Designate a smoking area at least 20 feet from the exterior of your building. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.
Employee Fire Safety Tips
Ensuring emergency measures can be performed efficiently and effectively is crucial in the safety of your building and the people in it. All employees should know and understand fire safety and what to do in case a fire were to occur.
Below are some tips to make sure your employees are protected and know how to protect themselves:
- Have all of your fire alarm equipment inspected and tested regularly by our highly trained professionals at Bay Alarm.
- Ensure all employees know where the emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and fire alarms are.
- All employees should know how to use a fire extinguisher and alarm.
- Post emergency telephone numbers and the company address by every telephone for quick access if a fire were to start in any work area.
- Create a written fire escape plan and post it in places accessible to all employees.
- Practice regular fire drills and have a designated meeting space for employees outside of the building.
Even with all the safety measures in place, fires can and do happen. It is up to the employer to make sure that their employees can respond safely, correctly, and quickly in the event of a fire.
Consult a Business Fire Safety Expert
Bay Alarm can help you plan, install, and test your fire alarm system to ensure that your business is meeting all safety code requirements and regulations.