Fires account for approximately 3% of workplace fatalities each year. Additionally, they cost businesses billions of dollars in property damage, lost productivity, and higher insurance premiums.
Workplace fires happen every day, and you could be the cause if you’re not careful. Here’s what you may doing wrong...
You’re using faulty electrical equipment.
It’s no secret that anything electrical has the potential to start a fire. Overloaded circuits, damaged extension cords and defective appliances are all forms of electrical hazards that can burn buildings to the ground and injure a lot of people.
Make sure to inspect electrical equipment and appliances before use. Replace old or defective equipment. And leave the advanced stuff to the professionals. Let licensed electricians repair more complex issues like worn or loose wiring.
You’re not handling chemicals properly.
Chemicals are extremely hazardous and require specific safety protocol to reduce the chance of leaks and fires. Flammable and combustible materials especially pose a risk to businesses and employees.
There are safe practices for the handling, storing and disposing of chemicals. When utilized, these practices can significantly reduce the chance of fire. OSHA has set safety standards for working with flammable chemicals. Familiarize yourself with these standards and implement them in your workplace.
You’re smoking on the job.
We all know there are fire hazards associated with smoking. Whether or not your workplace allows smoking on the job site, it’s always best to refrain. A stray spark can land on an ignition source like paper or gasoline and ignite a fire in an instant.
You’re causing accidents. And you might even be ignoring rules.
Another common cause of fires in the workplace is human error. Accidents happen. Liquid chemicals get spilled, power tools get dropped and portable generators get left running. Accidents such as these can be fire-starters.
Similarly, fires can result from negligence on the job. Safety procedures were put in place to prevent accidents, and disregard for rules and procedures is reckless and extremely dangerous.
To avoid fires due to error and negligence, review safety protocol on a regular basis, follow safety procedures at all times, and remain alert on the job.
You’re making a mess.
Throwing out the trash isn’t just a household chore your mom gave you in 7th grade. It’s also a good way to prevent fires at the office.
Trash in work and storage areas can easily become an ignition source. Don’t create the heap of fuel that kindles the fire. Dispose of all waste materials properly, from paper and cardboard to wood and cloth. Keep doorways and hallways clear, and make sure to clean work areas frequently.
Rather than contributing to fire hazards on the job, choose to be a reason your workplace is safer. Make sure there are fire extinguishers located throughout your workplace, and that you know how to use them. Throughout the year, take a few moments to refresh your knowledge of fire prevention and response tactics.
Fires are extremely destructive, but often avoidable. By doing your part to prevent fire hazards, you could be keeping your company in business or even saving a life.