The Dangers Of Fire In The Workplace

 

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The Dangers Of Fire In The Workplace

Any workplace poses an inherent risk of fire. Whatever type of environment you work in or manage, be it an office, retail or industrial context, there is always a risk of fire breaking out and spreading. As well as understanding the risks of fire, it is essential that employers gain a solid grasp of the basic fire prevention and handling tasks required to provide effective protection for their employees.

Working Practices
Of course we naturally associate the risk of fire with activities involving naked flames such as cooking. However, what people tend to forget is that any electrical equipment also poses a significant fire risk, and there are very few workplaces with no electricity supply. Once a fire has started, the vital focus must be to extinguish it as quickly as possible, as well as getting all employees to a safe location.

Workplace Fire Extinguishers
Having functioning fire extinguishers in the workplace is a key ingredient in any fire prevention strategy, but is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping a workforce safe. As well as ensuring that a significant proportion of staff are trained in using fire extinguishers, keeping the extinguishers maintained is also extremely important.

Fire Extinguisher Training

An effective approach to fire safety in the workplace therefore incorporates a systematic approach to fire extinguisher training for employees. This training covers not only use of fire extinguishers in the workplace environment, but also the routine checks that must be engaged in regularly.

Maintenance
If the fire extinguishers in a workplace are checked and found to be faulty, it is also vital that employees are able to initiate addressing of these issues, by reporting the need for repair or replacement to the relevant Health and Safety personnel within the organisation. The keeping of comprehensive records of such incidents is also best practice, as is recording any use of the extinguishers when fire breaks out.

Fire safety in the workplace is among the most important Health and Safety considerations for any employer or manager, and demands a number of key activities. The importance of employee development, for example through fire extinguisher training, is impossible to overstate in this context.

As well as being able to handle the situation safely if a fire does break out, regular fire extinguisher checks and maintenance put an organisation in the position to do this with no unexpected problems getting in the way.

Fire Types
The range of fire extinguishers in a workplace also needs to be tailored to the type of activities going on there. For example, in kitchen or industrial environments there will inevitably be a unique set of risks in terms of the types of fire that may occur. Office environments also face the risk of fire, but the range of causes may be less extensive.

From making sure your fire extinguishers are supplied and maintained to carrying out a systematic training program for employees on all fire safety topics, any Health and Safety strategy has to consider the management of fire risk a central priority.

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