6 Office Fire Safety Tips To Keep You Safe This Summer.
Office Summer Fire Safety
The hot weather is not commonly thought of as a potential risk for office fires, however in reality if a sudden heat wave hits the health and safety practices can be the last thing we think about. It is important to stay aware and alert of potential hazards and keep up to date with the maintenance of fire safety.
Propping open fire escapes
During the summer keeping air circulating can at times be challenging, and the idea of propping over the fire door can become irresistible to some. You should never block fire escape routes with obstructions, even if they appear to be propped out of the way. Having obstacles in the way whilst trying to exit the premises in the event of a fire could cause a lapse in time escaping due to trying to get around the objects or overcoming confusion. Fire doors are also designed to stay shut as they have been engineered to resist the fire for a set period of time. If they are propped open they will not be able to do the job they are designed for.
The office can become warm during a heat wave, and if yours does not have air conditioning you may find electrical fans popping up on desks. Whilst the breeze may be welcome the risk they potentially come with is not. Remember not to cover the air vents on portable units as this posses the risk of overheating potentially leading to a fire. Do not overload plug sockets with extension cables, this can also lead to an overheating risk. It is important to check the electrical current rating of the cable everything is connected, if it is too much you will have to find another location for the electrical device you wish to plug in. Ensure all electrical portable items have been PAT tested by an approved individual, but if you see the wiring is showing signs of distress it may be time to replace the wire or unit.
Offices are generally filled with paper, furniture, carpets, and waste bins etc. Ensuring office supplies are stored appropriately, desks are as clear as possible, and all furniture and furnishings are made from fire resistant materials are easy ways to try and reduce the risk of a fire starting and spreading. If your business has flammable liquids, gasses, solvents etc you must ensure they are stored appropriately, the product and supplier will be able to give you specialist advice to the individual product as some have specific storage requirements depending on temperature.
Whilst it is now illegal to smoke inside most premises and there are generally designated smoking areas and the reason is not just for individual’s health. The risk of a discarded cigarette butt that isn’t properly disposed off could start a fire. Placing cigarette bins around the designated area with encouragement to ensure the cigarettes are putt out could reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring.
Nobody likes to think their business or workplace could be subject to an arson attack, and whilst it is a year-round possibility summer does bring hot, dry weather which are perfect conditions for a fire to feed off. Having extra security on and around the premises can deter potential intruders, and only allowing authorised persons and staff onto site can reduce the risk. It is important to remember to report to the police any individuals who seem to be acting in a suspicious manner.
If you are lucky enough to have an office BBQ its vital to remember the importance of fire safety outside. Remember to keep a bucket of water, sand, or hose nearby in case of emergencies and never leave the bbq unattended. Ensure the barbeque is on a flat ground away from any shrubbery, trees, high grass and fences etc. Once you are finished with it leave it to cool down before you touch it, do not put any hot charcoal/ashes etc into a plastic bin and do not if disposable bring the bbq into a building for a while after due to the gasses that will still be being released. If a gas barbeque has been used storage of the cylinders before, during and after is critically important.