Make 2023 the year you take fire hazard detection up to the next level in your office building.
When it comes to preventing fires in the workplace and keeping employees and tenants safe, one of the primary means involves checking for potential fire hazards. The majority of accidental fires across Canadian provinces are avoidable. It’s pivotal that building managers and employers take steps to identify prospective risks and address them before any harm is done.
In this post, we’re going to look at some of the top tips on spotting fire hazards in your workplace and how to address them.
Tip #1 Carry Out a Fire Risk Assessment
The primordial step in determining fire hazards in your place of work is to carry out a fire risk assessment. But just what exactly is a fire risk assessment anyway?
A fire risk assessment is a standardized evaluation of a building or accompanying premises. The goal is to identify all potential fire hazards, gauge the risk of a fire happening, and establish key steps to reduce these dangers.
Building managers and property owners are required to conduct routine fire risk evaluations in order to foster a safe workplace for all building occupants.
Tip #2 Seek Out the Most Frequent Fire Causes
While regular fire risk assessments are good, it is necessary to take things a step further by making a deliberate and conscious effort to investigate and survey the office for hazards that are known to cause fires.
Such elements include (but are not limited to):
- Overloaded electrical sockets
- Damaged electrical cords
- Blocked fire exits
- Blocked ventilation systems
It is key to be on the lookout for such typical fire hazards and take the necessary steps to redress them. This can mean hiring the relevant HVAC technicians to unblock ventilation infrastructure, clearing blocked fire exits, and adding additional power extension cables around the office to avoid socket overload.
Tip #3 Ensure Proper Maintenance of Electrical Equipment
Another great tip in regards to fire hazard detection is: don’t neglect your electrical equipment.
Keep it maintained. It’s common knowledge that equipment suffers wear and tears over time. Appliances can become damaged or faulty which greatly increases fire risk. Thus the necessity for routine maintenance.
The consequences of poor maintenance could be disastrous. Not only does regular service of electrical equipment keep appliances performing at optimum but it can save lives and prevent damage to property.
So scan cords for damage (frays, tears, exposure etc.), making sure that plugs are secured properly into sockets, and that appliances are kept well-oiled and dust-and-debris free.
Tip #4 Ensure Fire Suppression Systems are in Good Working Order
Fire extinguishers and fire alarms are fundamental elements constituting your building’s fire suppression system. These critical elements should never be allowed to sit un-serviced and unmaintained. In fact, if you do, it is a criminal offence that breaks the provincial Fire Code guidelines. There is a mandate that fire extinguishers and fire alarms be checked and serviced each year.
Fire alarms, smoke detectors, and various other fire prevention mechanisms installed within the premises should be tested regularly as a way to verify that they are in good working order.
Tip #5 Verify Flammable Materials are Stored Appropriately
Flammable materials such as cleaning chemicals, cardboard boxes and paper need to be stored in a safe and appropriate manner.
Under this point must be highlighted disposal of waste. Improperly disposed of waste can also pose a very great fire risk.
Another point to note is gas safety. With the majority of Canadian buildings relying on gas for energy, building managers are also encouraged to make gas detection a priority. It only takes a small leak for an explosion to occur. So get in touch with local gas technicians like the team at Nutech Fire Prevention.
Tip #6 Mount Fire Suppression Systems Near Kitchens/Break Rooms
Did you know that fires tend to occur in kitchens and break rooms a lot? Kitchens because of all the cooking equipment found therein and break rooms because of improperly discarded cigarettes.
For these reasons, we always recommend having a fire extinguisher mounted near cooking equipment and within easy reach. This can go a long way in extinguishing a small flame before it gets out of control.
Tip #7 Check on Your Emergency Lighting
Is your emergency lighting operational? Are there any bulbs that need replacement? Do you need backup emergency lighting?
It’s important that the emergency lighting is working as it should and that building tenants know how to use it in case power ever goes out.
Tip #8 Encourage Employee Wellbeing Through Fire Safety Education
Lastly, it’s important for employees to receive training on correct fire safety best practices including fire extinguisher use. This can be done by selecting several employees to act as fire wardens and enrolling them in fire safety courses. These can be delivered by your local fire department or fire specialists like the team at Nutech Fire Prevention.
For the remaining employees, information can be disseminated through various mediums and channels. To verify that employees have indeed assimilated the information, fire drills can be conducted to check employee awareness and readiness.
It is a concerted effort to prevent workplace fires. Property managers, building owners and fire technicians must work together to identify potential hazards, ensure electrical appliances are regularly serviced, and safety devices receive proper maintenance. There is also an obligation to educate employees on fire safety best practices and ensure staff know all necessary fire safety procedures.
Putting these tips into practice will help to create and promote a safer workplace for all building occupants. And in conclusion, fire safety and fire hazard detection aren’t just for property managers, they are everyone’s responsibility.
Get in Touch With a Fire Hazard Detection Specialist
Building managers in Hamilton, Ontario can reach out to Nutech Fire Prevention for all fire hazard detection services.
In addition, we offer fire safety training, fire safety recommendations, the development of fire safety plans, and routine checks and maintenance of your fire equipment.
That’s not all we do as we also provide and install a comprehensive line of emergency backup generators, fire alarm systems, fire warning systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, exit lighting, and sprinkler systems.
Request a free quote today.
Looking for more insight? Check out these previous posts:
- How to Plan a Fire Evacuation Plan for Your Business
- How to Quickly Stop a Fire in the Workplace
- Fire Safety Training Courses for Canada Businesses