No matter how small or massive your offices may be, every owner’s first priority should be in ensuring a safe work environment for everyone under your wing. It’s not just for legal purposes, but for the sake of preventing accidents and life-threatening situations that can cost you your entire life’s work – and fire hazards are among the most common ones to think of when you start planning your office safety.
In addition to checking if there are pre-installed fire protection elements on the premises, it’s crucial to get guidance and advice from safety experts that can help you master the best safety practices for your business.
Train Your Staff
In areas such as Australia, where hot summers and dry weather are ideal for fires, it’s extremely important to teach your employees proper preventative measures, and all the necessary steps in case of an emergency evacuation due to a fire. They should be able to work as a team to help each other remain calm, prevent further damage, and of course, use the fire-extinguishing equipment in case of smaller fires that can be contained by your staff while someone calls for the fire brigade.
Whenever there’s a new employee ready to be onboarded, make sure that you go through the safety procedures with them. Keep them updated on any changes to your wiring and other systems that can lead to a fire, and you can collectively do your best to avoid accidents in the office.
Keep an Eye on Your Electrics
As one of the key culprits of fires, your office electric equipment and wiring should always be in top-notch condition and regularly checked for issues in order to prevent a disaster. Anything from your computers, printers, fax machines, all the way to your humble desk lamp can be a threat to your safety if not handled properly or kept in poor shape.
Every office should have safety equipment and experts from Glenco can help you choose the best options for your office, ensure proper electric systems are in place, and recommend the safety gear you need to keep on the premises. They can also let you know how you and your employees can keep your appliances in best working order to prevent fires.
Always Test Your Fire-Safety Systems
Even with a whole army of protective equipment all over your office, you need to conduct regular test-runs and check if every single fire escape routes, emergency exits, and fire extinguishers are in good shape. If your smoke detectors and alarms aren’t working properly, you might not even get the warning in time to evacuate safely, hence the need to regularly check all your fire-safety systems.
If you have expanded your office recently, make sure to expand the rules and training as well, and that all of your employees have access to fire extinguishers, emergency exits, and that they can hear the signal in case of a fire.
Create and Enforce a Safety Protocol
Although certain occupations carry more risk than others, we spend most of our work days surrounded by electric equipment, so we all need to know the best way to behave in case of an emergency. But even more importantly, your entire team should stick to preventative measures to minimize the risks.
If you’re not a strictly digital environment, there are bound to be paper files and documents in bins that can be set on fire. In case your office has numerous desks, then make sure that the floor is clear of any wiring, cords, and cables from the equipment, as tripping over them, spilling any liquid, or causing damage from stepping on them can lead to an increased risk of fire. Teach your employees good fire-proof manners, and you’ll significantly lower your risk of employee-caused accidents.
Hire a Fire Warden
Finally, for larger companies that work in spacious offices spanning across several floors, it’s wise to have a professional fire warden to keep an eye on the daily operations. This doesn’t mean that your employees shouldn’t be trained to handle a fire emergency, on the contrary, but having someone with the sole purpose to prevent fires will give all of you a peace of mind.
They will be responsible for all the aspects of your fire protection plan, from ensuring that all your equipment is in working order, to executing regular drills in order to see if any of your employees need further training, or if the plan is faulty.