Many savvy business owners are already reducing fire hazards in the workplace. Common measures include servicing equipment regularly, avoiding power strip overload and turning off equipment at the end of the day. But small business owners often overlook five other important steps. Cut fire risks further by:
- Appointing a safety officer. Without a safety officer, responsibilities aren’t clear for important tasks found at companies of any size: identifying and resolving fire hazards, coordinating with local emergency services, evaluating and calling in fire alarms, maintaining fire safety equipment and scheduling evacuation drills.
- Clearing Stairwells: If there is a stairwell in your place of business, clear steps of boxes, stored items, detritus and anything else that could impede rapid evacuations if a fire breaks out. These items can also be flammable fuel that feeds a fire as well as an attractive, concealed target for arsonists.
- Inspecting wiring twice a year. Many small businesses occupy older buildings with aged wiring. Schedule inspections twice yearly and upgrade electrical equipment as professionals recommend. Many invisible issues – that only electricians can identify – can afflict older wiring: circuit overload due to added capacity, degraded insulation, loosening friction tape, new code violations due to code updates and so on.
- Give Appliances Operating Clearance. In smaller offices, appliances can be packed into tight spaces without enough clearance to dispel heat that degrades equipment. Placing these items against flammable surfaces is an additional fire hazard. Microwave, oven, refrigerator, computer and copier instruction manuals discuss proper operating clearances. And while you’re rearranging those appliances? Check their cords. Frayed or worn cords also are fire risks and should be replaced promptly.
- Take Arson Risks Seriously: Arson is a particularly difficult crime to prevent and prosecute because most of it occurs on nights and weekends. However, it’s a significant source of workplace fires. Combat this hazard by taking note of suspicious fires that occur near your business and always taking arson threats or warnings seriously. Many businesses also install security cameras and motion-sensitive lighting as extra deterrents.
Experienced a fire at your small business despite instituting excellent fire precautions? Paul Davis is on call 24/7/365 to get your business back on its feet immediately. This Is No Time For Second Best®.