In the workplace, a small fire can quickly escalate into an emergency in a matter of minutes.
However, even with the threat of a fast-moving blaze through a workplace, many employers and employees fail to adequately plan and prepare their workplace to reduce the risk of fire.
Let’s take a look at the leading causes of workplace fires and how a competent fire safety practitioner may help you to better prepare.
1. Electrical Fires
This kind of fire safety risk can occur in most, if not all workplaces – all you need is faulty or damaged electrical equipment, outdated outlets or old appliances to create a hazardous environment.
Electrical fires start in electrical panels, where the circuits and panel become overloaded by the uneven electricity distribution.
In addition to risk of electrical fires is the risk of electrocution itself, which can cause severe and often fatal consequences.
The best way to avoid the risk of an electrical fire is to have your appliances and electrical equipment regularly tested and tagged by a competent fire safety practitioner.
2. Human Error
Research indicates that in the event of an emergency, less than 50% of occupants feel confident operating a fire extinguisher, while less than 25% of people can locate their closest fire extinguisher.
In essence, even if all the right fire protection equipment is readily available in the event of a fire, it’s of little use to fighting the fire if no-one can locate it or use it correctly.
To combat human error, it is important to provide employees with adequate training and preparation to ensure that in an emergency, all staff can act calm and with purpose as they evacuate or help to fight the fire.
Our East Coast Fire & Safety are experienced in providing fire protection solutions and training, including emergency evacuation plans, fire protection equipment, and alarm systems, to workplaces of all sizes.
If you have damaged electrical cords in your workplace, piles of clutter could be the perfect tinderbox to ignite a fire in your workplace. Or if you’re working on a building site, that ever-growing rubbish pile also presents an ever-growing fire risk.
Clutter can also be detrimental to your evacuation plans if hallways and fire exits are blocked or partially blocked.
Take the time to regularly clean around your workplace and encourage employees to keep their desks as clutter free as possible.
4. Combustible & Flammable Liquids
In any workplace where combustible and flammable liquids are used, it is important to adhere to government regulations surrounding how to store and handle them safely to minimise the risk of ignition.
These high-risk liquids also require appropriately designed and built fire protection systems to be installed to help to control any fires that do break out.
Issues tend to occur when these items are stored or handled incorrectly by staff, so ensure any staff interacting with the liquids are trained in how to do so safely.
As a colleague or a boss, one of the most frustrating and disappointing things you could hear is that the carelessness of one of your fellow staff was to blame for a damaging fire in your workplace.
This type of fire occurs when an employee has undertaken fire safety training – or should simply have sufficient common sense – and they engage in an action that could result in a fire or hazard.
Common negligent acts include smoking indoors or around flammable liquids, leaving the kitchen stove on after use or simply operating an appliance they know to be faulty.
Choose Fire Protection. Choose East Coast Fire & Safety
At East Coast Fire & Safety, we are committed to providing the highest level of professionalism and expertise in the fire protection industry because we believe fire safety should be one of the highest priorities of every workplace.
If you’ve been meaning to review your emergency evacuation plan or your staff need basic fire extinguisher training, contact us at East Coast Fire & Safety today to book a consultation with one of our competent fire safety practitioners.