While you may never anticipate the worst to happen on your business premises, having your business prepared for a fire should always be a top priority. In the event of a fire, practicing fire safety is crucial in saving lives and mitigating fire damage. But as a business owner, focusing your efforts on fire prevention can eliminate fire risks and prevent fires from occurring.
Common Sources of Fire Damage in The Workplace
Unlike kitchens, office spaces and commercial buildings lack open flames that often cause fires. Nevertheless, most workplaces have components that can cause fires, which may lead to considerable fire damage. These include:
- Combustible Waste – light materials like paper and cardboard can easily combust and be the perfect fuel for a fire. Waste materials made from these combustibles can be potentially devastating to any commercial environment.
- Flammable Liquids – cleaning and office supplies are some examples of flammable liquids that can easily ignite when stored near spark- or flame-generating objects.
- Dust – can be made from small debris like wood, plastic, and other materials. These can easily ignite due to their large surface area, which may also lead to an explosion when they catch fire while suspended in the air.
- Heat-Generating Objects – office appliances and electrical equipment may have faulty wiring or overheat, which poses a fire risk when near readily-combustible materials.
- Human Error – a common cause of fire in the workplace is human error. Incorrect usage or being absent-minded while using equipment may lead to a fire, such as overloading a socket or placing a stack of documents near an oven toaster.
Fire Damage Prevention Tips
Prevention is always better than cure in minimizing fire damage restoration costs. Here are some useful tips on how to protect your business from fire damage:
Leave Space for Appliances
Appliances that generate heat like coffee machines and computers should have ample space to cool down. Additionally, create a buffer zone around these appliances and keep them away from other materials, especially those that are combustible. Unplug all appliances, if possible, when not in use.
Regularly Replace Wiring On Power Cords
The quality of power cords can degrade over time. At some point, these could overload, overheat, and catch fire. To prevent this from happening, replace power cords immediately when they exhibit signs of fraying, loose connections, or cracked insulation.
Avoid Octopus Connections
Outlets often overload when too many connections are plugged in. Only use a single extension cord for each outlet.
Store Flammable Liquids Securely
Cleaning solvents and some office supplies are flammable. They also give off vapors that may travel with natural airflow, which may ignite when they come near a spark or open flame. Eliminate potential risks by storing flammable liquids in their original containers and placing them in a well-ventilated space.
Install a Sprinkler System
A sprinkler system is your primary line of defense against a fire. They are low maintenance and cost-effective, capable of confining fires to their room of origin 97% of the time.
Fire Safety Best Practices
Fire safety is imperative in all workplaces to ensure the safety of their employees and keep fire damage to a minimum. As a business owner, keep your employees and business safe by following these simple fire safety tips:
- Create a Fire Safety Plan – Develop a plan that outlines everything you and your employees should do in a fire emergency. This will include procedures for calling emergency services, an emergency evacuation plan, provision of medical care, and taking a head count of employees once you reach a safe area.
- Maintain Fire Safety Equipment – keep a regular schedule to check and maintain safety equipment to ensure it’s readily available when you need it. Not only is this essential in keeping them at peak condition, but it is also mandated by law.
Follow the quick guide below:
- Smoke Alarms – every 10 years from the date of manufacture
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors – after five to seven years from the date of manufacture
- Fire Extinguishers – when the pressure gauge is in the red or when the body exhibits visible signs of wear and tear
- Assign a Safety Officer – designate a person who will serve as the company’s fire prevention officer and point of contact in emergencies.
Conduct Routine Fire Drills – educate all employees and keep them informed of the company’s safety plan. Regular fire drills will help them gain familiarity with safety procedures and stay on top of what they need to do and know in emergency situations.
Call the Experts in Fire Damage Restoration
Seeing your commercial property ravaged by fire can be disheartening. But it can also become more stressful when faced with the prospect of going through a lengthy process for repairs. Working with a reputable and experienced fire damage restoration company can make the process more seamless, shortening the time needed for repairs. Restore normalcy in your business’s operations and get your business up and running again. Call Restoration 1 of Metro Detroit today!