We may think of an office as a safe work environment, especially when compared to job sites such as construction zones, mines and manufacturing plants. But offices pose a unique set of safety hazards, with fire among the biggest risks. According to National Fire Protection Association statistics, fire departments respond to an average of 3,340 office building fires each year, resulting in an annual average of $112 million in property damage.
If you own or operate an office or office building, implementing the following fire safety steps can substantially lower the risk of a fire on your business property:
- Monitor cooking areas: Approximately 29 percent of office fires start in the kitchen area and are caused by unattended cooking or faulty equipment. Make sure your employees are following safe cooking practices and inspect the stove regularly to be certain it’s in good working order. Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen and provide training for your employees on how to use it properly.
- Check your electrical, lighting and heating equipment: Occurrences such as frayed electrical cords, overloaded circuits and malfunctioning heating units account for about 23 percent of office fires. Be certain your equipment is in good condition and that you are not overburdening your electrical outlets, especially at workstations and in computer/data rooms.
- Don’t allow trash and paper to accumulate: Trash, especially paper items, can pose a significant fire hazard in an office. Make sure you dispose of trash properly and do not allow it to pile up. Converting to a paperless office environment can help you cut down on the paper flow.
- Police your smoking areas: If your office has a designated smoking area, make sure it is cleaned regularly and that your employees do not leave smoldering butts lying around. If your employees smoke outside, be certain they do so at a safe distance from your building.
- Have a fire emergency plan in place: If a fire breaks out, your employees must know how to respond. Make sure they are familiar with the fastest, safest evacuation route based on their location in the building. Stage regular fire drills to ensure your workers are prepared for a fire emergency.
For further tips and assistance for your Phoenix-, Mesa-, or Tucson-based business, contact Titan Alarm today.
Learn More About Fire Extinguishers
Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.