According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an average of 3,340 office fires per year. These fires lead to an average of four deaths, 44 injuries, and $112 million in direct damages every year.
You don’t want your office to contribute to that statistic, do you? If not, your office should prioritize implementing fire safety measures. While fire safety plans may not eliminate the risk of fire, it drastically lowers the risk and can hurry your response in the event of a fire.
Consider the following six tips for fire safety in your office:
Enforce Strict Rules in the Kitchen
Kitchens contribute to 22% of office fires nationwide, and most of these fires are preventable. Follow the following few tips to reduce the risk of fire in your kitchen:
- Never leave food cooking unattended – As busy as you may be, heating food in a microwave unattended can cause immense damages. Popcorn is perhaps the biggest threat—it can catch fire in only a few minutes. Always be near the food you are cooking.
- Unplug appliances – Unless you’re using a coffee pot, electronic kettle, or rice cooker, you should keep these appliances unplugged. Otherwise, a frayed wire can lead to a fire.
Choose a Safe Smoking Space
A lit cigarette butt can easily catch and spread fires. Designate and enforce a smoking area far from your office, and make sure that employees are using the appropriate waste receptacle for their finished cigarettes.
Be Aware of Electrical Wires
Never ignore a frayed wire. While your appliance with a frayed wire may still work, it presents a massive and unnecessary fire risk. Always be sure to check your wires, never overload extension cords, and use reliable surge protectors.
Use Appropriate Heating Devices
Space heaters are a notorious fire risk for office buildings. They’re not cheap to use, either. Always consider raising your heat by a couple of degrees instead of allowing employees to use space heaters.
Test Your Fire Alarms
You don’t want your fire detection systems to fail when you need them the post. Occasionally check the batteries and functionality of your fire systems, and consider hiring a professional to do an annual or bi-annual inspection.
Have a Plan
Following the best practices of fire safety doesn’t eliminate the risk of fire. While you should follow all of these general rules, you should also have an established escape plan. Office personnel should have designated duties if a fire occurs, and your office should run an occasional fire drill.
Total Fire Protection offers professional fire safety services that can save you, your employees, and your office. Get a free quote on our services today.