We all know how dangerous fire could be. What isn’t always obvious is how easily a fire can start. An overloaded extension cable, poor housekeeping, a discarded cigarette, or a combustible material close to a building can easily cause a devastating fire. The fire service responds to thousands of fire incidents every year that could have been prevented by putting simple fire safety measures or procedures in place.
The best and safest way to deal with the fire is by preventing it from happening in the first place. Fortunately, there are several simple things that everyone in your business can do to prevent the outbreak of fire.
Understand the Causes of Fire
The first and probably most important of these is to understand what elements need to be in place for a fire to exist. This could be easily explained through the fire triangle. The fire triangle is a simple model for understanding the ingredients necessary for all fires. Fire is a chemical reaction or series of reactions, where heat is involved and needs three things to be present so it can happen: heat, fuel, and oxygen. A fire naturally occurs when all the elements are combined in the right mixture.
A fire could be prevented by making sure that these elements are unable to mix. Without sufficient heat, there could be no ignition. Without fuel, there’s nothing to burn. And without sufficient oxygen, a fire cannot begin. Knowing the mechanics and elements of a fire is essential in eliminating the risk of fire as well as learning how to control and extinguish it.
Good housekeeping is an example of a straightforward measure that you can take on your premises. This goes for everyone in your workplace. It’s no use to clean or making sure that there’s no potential fuel around if the managing director or CEO’s area of work is considered a fire hazard. Merely making sure bins are emptied regularly, tidying your desk at the end of the day, and keeping fire exits clear can all have a dramatic impact on reducing the risk of fire in your workplace.
Train Employees on Fire Safety
You have to ensure that your employees are trained on their first day at work through an induction program. The program will include familiarization with your means of escape, nearest and alternate escape routes, and fire exits. Training must also be carried out at regular intervals after that.
Check Your Electronic Appliances Regularly
Electricity is one of the most common causes of fire. This could be in the form of overloaded extension cables and sockets, poorly maintained equipment, or simply the wrong fuse. Remember, prevention is always better than a cure. So, get into a routine, especially at night, and check all your appliances, including the pellet smokers for beginner griller like you. Have them repaired or replaced if they show any signs of wear or damage. If you are unsure of the safety of any electrical items in your place of work, get professional advice from a competent person.
Put Evacuation Measures in Place
Despite your best efforts, it is not always possible to prevent a fire from starting, and that’s when you must know how to deal with an outbreak safely. When you are confronted with an outbreak of fire, your first responsibility is to raise the alarm. This will immediately alert people in the vicinity that there is a fire. The alarm activation may be via shouting fire “Fire, Fire”, a break glass core point, or it may have already happened via an automatic fire detection system.
A procedure must be put into place so that at least one person will have the responsibility for calling the emergency services while the evacuation of your premises is underway. The person chosen for this responsibility should be based on your premises full time and should be given this role on a permanent basis so that everyone knows who it is, and there is no confusion. A deputy or deputies must also be chosen in case of illness or absence.
On hearing the alarm, you should leave the building immediately using the nearest available exit. If the fire is situated near an exit, you must be aware of the alternative routes available. Stay calm and remain calm at all times. Everyone involved in evacuation must remain calm at all times so that all personnel can evacuate the premises safely and as quickly as possible.
Employ Fire Wardens
In your place of work, you must have a sufficient number of competent people, known as fire wardens to perform evacuation duties as well as a qualified person to ensure that the fire safety systems in your premises are fully functioning. When the evacuation is underway, it may be the responsibility of the fire wardens, if safe to do so, to sweep their allocated areas, turning off equipment, shutting doors and windows, and making sure that people are leaving via the nearest exit. When the wardens have swept the building, a roll call should take place at the assembly point.
Getting Started Hopefully, you’ll now have a good idea of the damage and devastation that fire can cause, and the best ways to prevent it.