Electrical fires consistently rank among the top five causes of commercial building fires involving health clinics and hospitals, manufacturing plants, nursing homes, warehouses, farming operations, bars and restaurants. The recognition of fire hazards is the first step in preventing fires. They are frequently caused by defects in wiring, motors, switches, lamps and heating elements. Fires involving electricity also regularly result in a higher percentage of property damage than those caused by many other sources, such as unattended cigarettes and candles.
Here are some things to remember when employing fire safety in the workplace.
- If an electrical cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Keep cords away from places where they can be stepped on, as this will contribute to deterioration of the protective outside coating.
- Electrical fires are frequently caused by overloaded equipment and circuits Make sure any power strips used are equipped with internal overload protection so they shut off when they work over capacity.
- Turn the power off of equipment when it isn’t being used. Not only will you save on your electricity expenses—it will dramatically decrease the chances of you having an electrical fire while you’re gone!
- Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn. This includes copiers, coffee makers, computers, etc.
- Practice good workplace housekeeping. Keep areas around electrical equipment clear of combustibles such as sawdust, paper, cardboard and flammable liquids.
- Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment. Shut off all electrical equipment that produces odd sounds, smells or sparks. Never attempt electrical repairs unless you are qualified and authorized.
- Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.
- Lock up appropriately, report suspicious persons and activity, and don’t leave flammable garbage where it can be set afire outside the building.
- Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits.
- posted and exits clearly marked.
- Know where the nearest fire extinguishers are and how to use them. Only Class C extinguishers are safe to use on energized electrical equipment.
Call Fire Control Systems for all your fire safety needs or questions.