Fire Safety and Preparation for the Workplace.
Is your workplace prepared in the event of a fire?
What would you say is the biggest cause of workplace fires? It’s not equipment failure. It’s not electrical faults. It’s not storms or natural disasters. It’s people and carelessness.
Every year, in more than 70,000 workplace fires across North America, an average 200 people die, thousands are injured and many firms are either put out of business or severely disrupted.
October is Fire Protection Month in the US and Canada, so now is a good time to review and remind employees of safety rules. A few simple steps will help identify and reduce risks.
- Assessing your buildings for risks — I’d make that a visual inspection tour
- Reducing clutter and keeping escape routes clear
- Storing flammable chemicals under lock and key
- Locating heat-producing equipment, even coffee-makers, away from flammable material
- Checking building security to prevent possible arson fires
- Enforcing no-smoking or designated area rules
- Checking fire extinguisher service and replacement dates
- Ensuring employees know how to operate extinguishers
- Enforcing rules for the use of spark – and fire-producing equipment
- Conducting permitted, controlled burning/fires a safe distance from buildings
- Checking operation of fire and smoke alarms
It’s even more important that employees know what to do if fire does break out, an issue I touched on earlier this year. Check out our blog “Fire Safety – The Escape Plan”.
Even if it’s not mandatory, you should have a written emergency action plan. The plan should include details of evacuation routes, location of assembly points, procedures for raising the alarm and, if appropriate, a written list of individuals and their responsibilities.
As much as everyone loathes them, evacuations should be practiced at least once a year. It’s a good idea to alert employees of an intention to have a practice drill but not to tell them exactly when it will happen.
And if you’d like to know more about Fire Safety Week or get other information about fire safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association, a US-based global organization, at www.nfpa.org
Finally, please make sure you have adequate insurance in place, not just against property damage and liability arising from fires but also coverage to protect you against income losses arising from business disruption.
Insurance is an effective mitigation against fire risk. If you want to be sure you’re properly protected, please get in touch.
Huff Insurance is a full service Independent Insurance Agent We have been dedicated to Protecting Lifestyles™ since 1960. We offer a full array of Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance and Life Insurance products. Call us at 410-647-1111