It doesn’t matter if you’re an employer or an employee; you can help improve the safety measures of your office. (In fact, if you’re the employer, then you’ve kind of got a legal obligation to improve the safety measures of your office!) Offices generally have dozens of people in the same room; the introduction of, say, a fire would probably be extremely unwelcome. Not to mention, y’know, dangerous.
The stakes are high in this field. It’s time to focus on both fire prevention in your office and measures to take if one does occur.
The problem with electricity
Offices these days are pulsing with electricity. There are dozens of computers, monitors, printers, scanners, and the like, all crammed into the same space. It’s no wonder that electrical faults are the leading cause of office fires, as shown at RabidOfficeMonkey.com. . You need to make sure the way electricity is handled in your office is as safe as possible.
Inspect the equipment and power outlets; anything that’s in poor condition shouldn’t be used. You also need to ensure that your outlets and cables are capable of handling the amount of electricity with which they’re being tasked to handle. Oh, and stop leaving computers on overnight. Yes, I know it saves a few seconds in the morning because you don’t have to deal with booting. That doesn’t mean you should exacerbate fire risks!
So if a fire does break out, you need the right equipment to deal with it. There are three pieces of equipment here that should have jumped to your mind immediately: fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and smoke alarms. Those are the precise items you need, but a lot of office managers aren’t as careful as they should be with these things.
For one, you need to ensure that the fire extinguishers are actually in useful location, and that they’re clearly marked for those who need to find them. (Fire safety maps in offices often include the locations of the extinguishers.) You also need to ensure that your sprinklers are inspected and quickly repaired if needed – businesses like ECSCorrosion.com can help you there. As for the smoke alarms, they should all be tested for functionality every two or three weeks!
Of course, the presence of fire extinguishers should be understood to be of limited assistance. If someone can deal with a small fire, then that’s all well and good – but if a fire is blazing, then employees can’t be expected to take a stand and hope the sprinklers and extinguishers work! The focus must be on getting everyone out as soon as possible.
The fire safety map we mentioned earlier is essential for marking the exits from the building. And when you know where the exits are, you can also get a good idea on the route that people will take to get to those exits. These routes should always be kept clear; documents and equipment should never get in the way! It’s important to ensure that fire drills are held every so often; Prevention1st.org has some good tips when it comes to fire drills.