Workplace fires occur every year resulting in serious damage to property and even injury and death. Negligence is a leading cause of these fires and most could be prevented with more care and attention. One of the best ways to protect your business against fire is to educate your employees on the causes of fire and encourage them to be vigilant and report any potential fire hazards, so that they can be dealt with swiftly. Although each working environment is different, here are some common workplace fire hazards that you should look out for and how to reduce the risk of them causing a fire.
Dust Build Up
If there isn’t adequate ventilation, dust and powder from wood, plastic and metal operations can cause explosions in enclosed spaces. In mines and factories, fans should be installed in places where there is a risk of dust in the air. Machinery and equipment that heats up when used should also be kept clean and free of grease and dust so that this doesn’t burn, starting a fire.
Storing Waste and Combustible Material on Site
Accumulation of waste such as paper, cardboard and other combustible materials are preventable fire hazards. If it isn’t disposed of regularly, it can provide fuel for any potential fires that might break out. Any source of ignition, such as a discarded cigarette, can ignite the waste which results in a rapidly burning fire. Waste should be stored in a designated area away from main buildings and potential ignition sources.
Flammable Liquids and Vapors
Flammable liquids and vapors can ignite instantly if they encounter a spark or naked flame. Containers of flammable liquids and solvents should be properly sealed and stored. It there is any spillage it should be cleaned up immediately.
Overloading Power Outlets
If too many devices are plugged into the same outlet or if faulty extension cords are used this can result in overheating and cause a fire.
Faulty Electrical Equipment
Faulty electrical equipment is one of the most common types of fire in the workplace. Check for loose cabling, damaged plugs and replace if needed. All electrical equipment should be checked regularly, and PAT tested by an expert.
If a fire does occur, it is important for everyone to have fire safety training so they will know what to do. Call Fire Control Systems today to assess your workplace for fire hazards and provide training for everyone.