Is your workplace and home fireproof? Each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) celebrates National Fire Safety Month in October with Oct. 7th – 13th being National Fire Prevention Week and Oct. 13th being National Home Fire Drill Day.
Fire safety awareness in the workplace should be second nature and should be translated into our personal lives to keep our loved ones safe in the event of a fire as well. Take time this month to have a fire safety talk with your department at work. Review your emergency action plan, communicate supervisory roles, and walk evacuation routes with your team. Below are key components to ensuring your workplace and home are fireproof:
Maintain the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and be sure they are in good working condition. Provide training for employees on the correct use of fire extinguishers.
Exercise good housekeeping. Clutter can easily become a fuel source in the event of a fire, allowing a fire to spread quickly; furthermore, clutter can restrict access to emergency equipment and exit routes.
Waste Control & Storage
Limit the accumulation of flammable or combustible materials and residues to prevent the risk for such materials contributing to a fire emergency.
Designate Smoking Areas
Permit smoking only in designated smoking areas and provide means for extinguishing smoking materials safely.
Use and store chemicals safely. Read hazard warning labels and safety data sheets to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Ensure your chemical storage areas and provide adequate ventilation for the storage of chemical or other hazardous substances.
Ensure emergency exit route diagrams are posted and accessible in all areas of the facility for all employees to easily view. Additionally, ensure means of egress are well-lit with regulated exit signs and free from debris or clutter.
Finally, employees should have access to a list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of emergency. Remember that human nature is to panic in emergency situations; therefore, basics such as the company address, important phone numbers, and building floor plan should be posted on or with the emergency action plan.