Essential Fire Safety Tips to Protect Your Workplace and Employees

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General

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Written by Thomas Walker, community contributor

As a business owner, it’s your job to see that your assets, customers, and employees are as
safe as possible. While you no doubt take safety measures, such as locking the doors at night
and maintaining video surveillance, there are other ways that you give peace of mind to those
who matter the most. By prioritizing fire safety, you not only show your people that you care, but you
can also mitigate your risks. Today, North Madison Volunteer Fire Company offers some helpful
tips on fire safety in the workplace.

Why Fire Safety Matters
Fire knows no boundaries, and it can destroy everything you’ve worked so hard to build. And,
given that there are so many different ways fires can break out – these include chemical,
cooking oils, and faulty electrical outlets and appliances – it only makes sense to keep fire
safety at the forefront of all you do. For business owners, having a fire safety plan in place offers
many benefits, such as:
● Reduced fire risk
● Enhanced safety
● Asset and property protection
● Fewer disruptions to business operations
● Reputation protection

Most importantly, reducing your risk of fires can save lives.

Building A Fire Safety Plan
Creating a safer workplace begins by performing a fire risk assessment, which the London Fire
Brigade explains starts with identifying potential hazards, knowing who’s at risk, removing these
hazards, recording your findings, and performing routine safety evaluations at set intervals
throughout the year.

Common Workplace Hazards
In addition to chemicals, kitchen accidents, and unmaintained electrical components, many
workplaces are at risk due to arson, the presence of paper and other flammable materials, and
poor cleaning practices. Although these are not the only areas a business must pay attention to,
they are a good start.

Reducing The Risk Of Arson
Arson is a crime that involves the intentional use of fire to cause damage. Businesses are at risk
of being targeted by disgruntled former employees, people out to do mischief, and even as
retaliation for a domestic conflict. You can reduce your risk by removing combustible materials
from your exterior, properly storing flammables and chemicals, and keeping your exterior well lit
throughout the night.

Digitizing Documents To Eliminate Paper
If you’re still keeping paper documents, a simple way to eliminate this fire hazard is to digitize
files. The best option for this is to utilize a scanning tool to create PDFs and then save your
documents across the cloud. Keeping an online backup may also help you stay compliant with
industry rules and regulations. Plus, you’ll have easy access no matter where you are, so you
can keep a finger on the pulse of your business even when you’re not there.

Hidden Areas To Clean
The cleanliness of your facility also plays a role in fire safety. Make sure to keep your
landscaping cleared out, as leaves and other types of debris can block exterior air vents and act
as kindling for exterior fires. If you keep rags used to clean machinery, wash them frequently.
Reader’s Digest explains that cotton and some oil-based stains may react to cause
spontaneous combustion.

Other Tips
● Have a set evacuation route
● Keep well-maintained fire mitigation equipment, such as fire extinguishers
● Train your staff on emergency procedures
● Ensure that exits are clear
● Create an equipment maintenance plan
● Allow smoking only in designated areas

Workplace fires cause hundreds of fatalities and cost businesses more than $2.3 billion every
year, according to Frontline Data Solutions. As a small business owner, you can’t afford to
ignore fire safety in the workplace. Fortunately, with a few simple steps, such as reducing paper
documents and keeping your facility clean, you can reduce your risk of both accidental and
intentional fires to add another layer of protection over your business and its people.

North Madison Volunteer Fire Company is proud to serve our community. Call (203) 245-

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