Fire safety training and fire prevention practices are essential for just about any type of business. Fires can be incredibly destructive to property, inventory, and equipment and can result in injuries and fatalities to employees and customers.
An uncontrolled fire can be ruinous for a business, so fires must be prevented from occurring in the first place. To help you keep your business and personnel safe, we will highlight some of the most essential and effective fire prevention tips.
By incorporating these fire safety tips into your business’s daily operations, you can help your business avoid the devastating consequences of a large-scale fire.
Each type of business is unique. Certain fire safety tips will be more or less relevant for your business than others, but most businesses can benefit from taking these tips seriously. Here are our top 10 fire prevention tips:
1. Ensure All Electrical Systems Are Inspected & Maintained
Faulty and damaged electrical systems often cause destructive fires in workplace environments. These systems can experience a significant degree of wear and tear over the years, as the demands placed on them are far greater than in residential settings.
Make sure they are regularly and professionally inspected and maintained. Have frayed cords and damaged wires replaced promptly and shut down the system until they are replaced. It is also vital to ensure that all electrical system vents and fans are clean and unobstructed, as this can help avoid overheating that can trigger electrical fires.
2. Make Sure All Flammable Materials Are Stored Correctly
While it may sound obvious, all flammable materials must be stored safely and away from any significant heat source. This applies to everything from flammable chemicals and combustible gasses to large paper and cardboard stocks.
Anything that could fuel a large fire should always be stored in an appropriate location. While keeping these materials near their workstations may save employees time, the potential dangers can be severe, so it is not worth the risk.
3. Inspect & Clean HVAC Systems
Like electrical systems, a faulty or poorly maintained HVAC system can trigger a fire. These systems are often coated in dust and debris, which can ignite if the buildup becomes significant enough. Filters also need to be cleaned or replaced at appropriate intervals.
Having these systems professionally cleaned and inspected by a state fire marshal, fire chief, or fire protection professional can be the difference between having them function correctly or being the cause of a devastating fire.
4. Do Not Allow Smoking in Unsafe Locations
All smoking must be limited to designated areas that are both distant and safe. This rule must be strictly enforced for employees, customers and clients, suppliers, and anyone else on the property.
All cigarettes, lighters, vaporizer pens, and other smoking accessories must also be disposed of properly. Far too many fires are caused by careless attitudes toward smoking.
5. Clean & Maintain All Kitchen Equipment
Whether you run a restaurant with a full-scale commercial kitchen or simply have a small kitchenette in the employee break room, all kitchen appliances need to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Ovens, stoves, and deep fryers are all common starting points for fires in commercial and industrial buildings.
By cleaning and maintaining this equipment, you can prevent the buildup of grease and other flammable materials that could trigger and fuel a destructive fire.
6. Follow All Fire Codes & Local Regulations
While they may seem redundant and overly precautious, adhering to all fire code regulations is another important aspect of fire prevention for all businesses.
Whether industry-specific rules or general fire regulations for all businesses in the area, these legal requirements are designed to prevent the destruction and loss of life that can occur when a fire breaks out in a business. Keep your business safe and avoid unnecessary fines and penalties.
If you are unsure if your business is in compliance with fire safety measures. To learn more, read What Is a Fire Safety Inspection & Why Is it Important?
7. Make Sure Functioning Fire Extinguishers Are Widely Available
An essential component of fire prevention is having the ability to extinguish small fires before they are allowed to spread. Fire extinguishers are among the most effective ways to contain and extinguish small fires.
Ensure that you use the appropriate classification of fire extinguishers for the materials and equipment stored and used within your business. You also need to take the time to train all employees on safe and effective use of fire extinguishers.
Finally, always make sure that your fire extinguishers are regularly inspected and located in easily accessible areas throughout your entire business!
For more information, read Different Fire Extinguisher Types & Which One You Need.
8. Install & Maintain Smoke Detectors Throughout Your Business
Working smoke alarm detectors and fire alarm systems appropriately distributed throughout your business are essential for fire prevention. These sensitive devices are essential for providing all building occupants with enough warning to evacuate safely, and they can also help you put out small fires before they have time to spread.
Not only must your business be properly protected with smoke alarms and fire alarm systems, but these fire protection systems need to be tested and maintained at regular intervals.
9. Educate & Train All Employees on Fire Prevention Strategies
All employees should have basic fire prevention training regardless of their role within the company. This includes properly using a fire extinguisher, storing flammable items, knowing the fire escape plan including the best escape route, and reporting a fire hazard. Regular fire drills and meetings about fire safety protocols can support these training sessions.
If your business lacks an existing fire suppression system, you should invest in one.
These overhead fire sprinkler systems detect the rising temperatures that indicate a fire. They automatically eject high volumes of water, which snuffs out the flames and prevents them from spreading. Not only do you need to ensure your fire sprinkler system covers your entire business, but you also need to ensure it is well maintained.
While a fire suppression system is an incredibly important fire prevention measure for any business, even the best fire sprinkler systems can misfire or run after the fire has been successfully put out.
Since most systems need to be shut off by a member of the fire department or another fire official, the water damage they create can be incredibly costly.
This is where a fire sprinkler shut-off tool comes in handy. The Shutgun is an affordable and easy-to-use tool that can allow maintenance staff and other personnel to quickly and effectively shut off the flow of water from a sprinkler that has misfired or no longer needs to run.
To learn more about the Shutgun, simply click the link below: