As an employer, you are responsible for the safety of your employees at work. You have to ensure their safety in the workplace all the time, and that includes keeping the office building safe from fire. There are simple ways to fireproof your office, from practising preventative measures to installing fire-safety devices. It pays to be ready all the time, so here’s how you can prevent your business from catching fire.
Replace any suspect appliances
If an electronic appliance sparks, its best to dispose of it. A faulty appliance can start a fire in your office. Replace appliances if they smell funny, make weird noises, or spark.
Don’t overload plugs
Never plug too many appliances into one outlet. This is especially true for old buildings, as they will have difficulty managing larger electrical loads. Also, make sure you don’t have bad electrical systems, and cords don’t run under rugs.
Declutter the office
Encourage your employee to keep their workstation clean all the time. Paper, cloth, and other flammable items near appliances like an electrical heater is a big no-no.
Invest in fire alarms
Smoke alarms have saved a lot of office workers from fire. Install one in every room in the building. It’s one of the cheapest fire-safety devices that you can get for your office.
Provide a fire extinguisher
This is not an option, but a rule. Every commercial building in the UK should have at least two ‘Class A’ extinguishers on every storey of the workplace. The types of extinguisher also depend on the equipment in your business premises.
Install a fire sprinkler
In case a fire breaks out, a fire sprinkler will take care of the blaze before it gets bigger. Firefighters would vouch for the effectiveness of this fire-safety device. Hence, install fire sprinklers at key locations around your building.
Post fire and safety signs
When your office catches fire, your employees will likely be flustered. They will be unable to think clearly, so guide them with fire and safety signs posted around the area. These posts will show them where the emergency exits are, as well as where the alarms and fire extinguishers are located.
It’s always best to consult a professional to inspect your office building. Regular inspections ensure you are complying to all fire safety code in the UK. As a rule of thumb, have your workplace inspected every two years.
Train your employees
A basic fire training can help save lives. Make sure your employees know what to do in case of a fire. They should know where the emergency exits are, and what they should do should fire alarms or suppression devices activate. Also, train them on proper reporting of incidents to prevent fire in the future.
Have an evacuation plan
If all else fails, it pays to have a clear evacuation plan. The plan should include a building floor plan where you mark the emergency exits and give directions to evacuate. It should also detail who will is assigned to assisting visitors, disabled employees, and others who may need help during evacuation.
A proactive approach helps keep your employees safe from workplace fire. With the simple steps mentioned above, you minimize the risks in your office. Always practice caution to prevent your business from turning into ashes.