We’ve all faced the dreaded weekly fire drill in an office, and it can often be a source of contention for many people. As much as we all know that a fire drill is a necessary process to go through, it can often feel well-worn and that every person is going through the motions and not really learning anything new. What we rarely see in office fire safety training, is how to prevent fires in the first place or to understand what are the most likely causes of fires in the workplace. It is this level of awareness that truly helps prevent fires and could save lives if the worst should happen.
A fire in the workplace can be devastating. In order to do everything you can to prevent a fire in the workplace, let’s take a look at some of the major faults and causes of fires. By understanding the most common causes of office fires, you can do your best to prevent them from every happening or at least minimise the risk of fires.
Office spaces are prone to be a high risk in terms of potential fires because of the number of combustible materials that are present in an office environment. Loose paper, plenty of packaging, bins and soft furnishings can be found throughout an entire office space, and when you consider flammable adhesives too, it is no wonder that if a fire does break out in an office that it can spread very quickly, causing plenty of damage. You can reduce the risk by keeping the place tidy, regularly emptying bins and choosing furniture that isn’t as flammable.
Another thing that you should do regularly is to check on all electrical equipment, specifically power cords and the like, where damage to wiring can be a major cause of fires. Make sure that there is never any overloading of sockets and extension cables and that anything that can be turned off overnight and at weekends, is switched off to prevent fires when there is no one around the office.
Checking on equipment is key, and this goes for the fire safety equipment and protocols. Check that fire safety signage and warnings are up to date and clear for all to see, that fire doors are installed and working correctly, and that all fire escapes are not blocked in any way.
There are a few different causes behind fires in an office environment. By understanding the various causes of fires, employees can do more to be proactive in preventing fires from starting in the first place, rather than just paying lip service to the processes that should be followed if a fire actually breaks out. Instead of regular fire drills that don’t teach that much, why not look at the different fire safety equipment in a workplace and instil a culture that understands what each piece is for and how it works. If your staff understands more information about fire safety doors in the office, fire safety equipment and fire drills and fire escape routes, you’ll build a much safer workplace for all.