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How to Set Up Your Workplace for Fire Safety

Fires in the workplace are no less damaging than ones at home. The consequences sound similar: injury, lawsuits, damaged equipment, documents, or property that can put the future of a company at risk. But often the requirements for fire protection services are different.

As a business owner, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your staff, clients, and property are protected against the risk and damages of a workplace fire.

The most effective methods to preventing a fire requires the expertise of fire protection service professionals. As well, there are day-to-day tips that anyone can follow to help keep your workplace as safe as possible.

Talk to the experts

Start at the beginning. Whether the commercial building is a brand new construction or not, make sure the fire protection systems meet local building codes. Codes vary on the location, size, and how the building is being used (a restaurant has different requirements from an office building, for example).

This includes installing fire safety equipment like smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, and a fire suppression system. The type of commercial activity will help determine certain equipment. A water-based fire suppression system, for example, would only serve to worsen a fire in a commercial kitchen, with an oil fryer, or at a workplace where expensive technology is exposed.

Regular inspections and maintenance on each piece of equipment are essential. Check with an industry professional on how frequently each should be inspected.

Prevention by the people

Having the right safety equipment is only effective if people can use it. Make sure the people who are working in the space know where to locate fire extinguishers, how to use them, and what to do when the smoke detectors go off.

Create an evacuation plan and make sure everyone knows the safest exits. Depending on the size of the staff, assign a small group of leaders in the event of an evacuation. Their role can include sweeping the office floor for stragglers, grabbing an emergency kit, and counting attendance at a designated safe spot outside of the building.

For the day to day, make sure the workplace is clear of fire hazards. Some quick tips:

  • Keep appliances away from flammable materials
  • Unplug appliances overnight or when not in use
  • Don’t overload power bars or electrical outlets
  • Keep a clear path to fire exits at all times
  • Keep hazardous materials stored in a safe location

The best fire protection services rely on both professional equipment/expertise and the well-informed and trained everyday employee at your workplace.

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