Fires in buildings can result in a lot of damage. The damage done is usually irreversible. It is impossible to completely avoid a fire but there are certain precautions we can take to minimize the losses. Expensive electrical equipment can catch on fire resulting in heavy monetary losses to the company. In worse cases, the lives of countless employees might be in danger. The cause of a fire in an office can be something as trivial as a short-circuit.
Even if you leave your mac & cheese unattended while it is being re-heated can lead to a big catastrophe. Pots and pans overhead quickly and can lead to a huge fire.
- Portable heaters
These might not seem like an issue but if they’re kept in the vicinity of objects that can catch on fire like furniture, laundry, or curtains it can be a problem. It is also advisable to get them checked once a year for any faults.
- Electric equipments
Any faulty wiring might lead to a short circuit that initiates a chain reaction resulting in a full-fledged fire. Testing of appliances and power points must be done beforehand.
Even though smoking has been prohibited in office premises as it exposes non-smokers to deadly secondhand smoke. Cigarette buds that aren’t fully extinguished can lead to fires that escalate quickly depending upon the environment that they’re in.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FIRE SAFETY
The Occupational safety & health administration ( OSHA ) has made it mandatory for companies to maintain certain standards to ensure safety in a workplace. It is only common sense to notify other employees in case of a fire, but it also is a legal requirement. In case of fire emergencies, the following plan must be followed :
- Contact the fire department as soon as possible.
- On authorization of evacuation, the specific escape routes must be taken.
- All employees must be accounted for as soon as evacuation is done.
- In case of a small fire, the employees can use the required equipment and take care of the fire.
- Fire alarms must be installed in offices.
Walk-in fire extinguishers inspections should be done once in a month as they are the best known to put out small fires manually.
They are a mandatory requirement as per safety standards. Companies that cannot afford high-end fire safety equipment have at least a fire extinguisher.
The placement of a fire extinguisher is of utmost importance. It must be in close vicinity of the kitchen, where most of the fires originate. But their placement must be such so that there is a clear pathway to the equipment in case of a fire. They must be within 75 feet of a potential fire hazard.
Here are five reasons why a fire extinguisher is mandatory in offices :
- Easy to use
Fire extinguishers are small and are quite simple to use. Every employee can use a fire extinguisher.
- Efficiency in containing fires
They are well organized to stop small fires. Suppose your pan catches on fire for some reason, a fire extinguisher is the most viable option in stopping the fire from spreading further.
- Affordable fire safety
Fire extinguishers are affordable and even small companies that cannot afford expensive fire safety equipment can purchase them.
- Environment friendly
They prevent the wastage of water that the firefighters would use to extinguish the fire. They are also relatively harmless to the environment.
Being so efficient in containing fires, they can literally save lives in places with a large concentration of people. It can even be used on fellow employees that have caught on fire.
Conclusion: Fires can result in a lot of damage to property and take the lives of employees. There can be a variety of causes of a fire. Fire extinguishers are cheap alternatives to preventing the spread of fires and saving countless lives.