Fire Protection

What Is It?

Fire protection is the practice of limiting the unwanted effects of destructive fires. Typically, the owners of the facility are required to ensure their building complies with the local fire code and building code. This usually begins during the construction process, but the building must be maintained to ensure it stays up to date with the code, and make any necessary changes if the code changes.

Fire Hazards

There are many different reasons why fires occur, and many job sites, particularly in industrial zones, contain multiple fire hazards. In offices, for example, there can be a build-up of combustible materials, such as cardboard and paper. This provides plenty of fuel for a fire if one should occur. A small fire could become a very large fire that burns rapidly because it has access to plenty of fuel. Flammable liquids are also a fire hazard. They can ignite instantly if they come into contact with a naked flame or a spark. Vapors are also extremely dangerous. To help reduce the risk of a fire, make sure all flammable liquids are safely sealed and stored away, and if a spill does happen, that you clean it up immediately. Dust build-up is another fire hazard. This can even lead to explosions in enclosed spaces if there isn’t proper ventilation. Make sure all equipment and machinery that heat up are kept clean so there is no dust build-up. Another source of fire is faulty electrical equipment. This is one of the most common types of fire in the workplace. All electrical equipment should be properly maintained and cleaned. One easily avoidable fire hazard is not overloading power sockets. If too many devices are plugged into the same socket, it could potentially overheat and result in a fire. Lastly, discarded cigarettes can cause fires. There should always be a designated smoking area for staff who smoke, and an area where they can dispose of their cigarettes. This will prevent garbage fires from starting.

Industrial electrical switch panel

Fire Safety Plan

While many fires can be prevented with proper safety measures, sometimes fires just happen. In order to prevent injury or even death, it is important to ensure your workplace has a fire safety plan in place. You need to make sure you are aware of at least two exits from where you are in your workplace. This can be a main exit and an emergency fire exit. You may want to have a diagram drawn up and put in the main office for everyone to see. If the doors are blocked for some reason, make sure you know which windows are accessible and can be used as an exit. There should also be somebody, preferably designated before hand, to do a head count. This is extremely helpful if you have a large staff, because you are able to see if everyone safely got out of the building, or if anybody is still trapped inside. Make sure there are fire alarms throughout your building, and test the batteries every month. Lastly, set aside a day at least once every couple of months for your entire building to execute a fire drill. Practice makes perfect, and that way everyone will know exactly where they need to go in a case a fire does break out.