Most people will spend at least 40 hours per week in the office—it’s essentially your second home. When you’re at work, you should feel safe and not have to worry about potential hazards causing you and your co-workers harm. You can’t plan when a fire strikes, but you can take the necessary steps to prevent the likelihood of a fire and the damage that ensues.
Have a Plan
Every office should have an emergency preparedness plan detailing what building members should do in the event of a fire, flood, or another type of emergency. Your emergency preparedness plan should also detail what you should do in a fire with the proper exits and fire extinguishers marked. Create this plan with the help of colleagues and review it as a team so everyone is on the same page.
Clutter is one of the leading causes of office fires. This is because piles of paper and other materials are highly flammable when situated near electrical cords that could easily spark. The clutter then serves as a kindling for the fire to spread. Make sure to remove excess clutter throughout the office and properly store it in filing cabinets and shelving units. While removing clutter, be sure to also remove any obstacles that are in the way of an indicated exit path. This way you ensure that evacuating the building is quick and efficient in the event of a fire.
Check Your Electrical Cords and Power Strips
With so many devices that require electricity, offices are filled with extension cords and power strips we oftentimes try to tuck away and hide. All extension cords and power strips are marked with the maximum amount of wattage they can handle. With multiple plugs connected, you run the risk of easily exceeding this wattage and suffering from an electrical fire. One easy way to avoid this is to plug items directly into an electrical outlet as much as possible.
Regular Building Maintenance
By conducting regular building maintenance, you’re able to identify potential issues before they even become a problem. Things to look out for include frayed wires, poorly performing equipment, and improper storage of flammable liquids. When conducting your regular building maintenance, be sure to also get the proper maintenance done on common equipment, including heating, HVAC systems, hot water boilers, etc. In doing so, you both prevent fires and reduce the risk of equipment failure.
Have a Smoking Plan
Although it’s uncommon, some office buildings still allow their employees to smoke inside. This significantly increases the chances of an incident, as all it takes is one misplaced cigarette to cause an office-wide fire. Instead, consider designating a specific space outside the office building for the people who smoke. This area should contain a fire-resistant receptacle where smokers can safely dispose of their cigarettes.
Certified Asbestos Removal & Restoration Inc. is the leading provider of fire, water, asbestos, and mold restoration services. In the unfortunate event of an office fire, trust our experts to restore your space in a safe and effective manner. To learn more about our services, call 403-437-8070 today!