5 reasons why workplace fire safety knowledge is a necessity

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The safety of employees in the workplace should be a top priority for every business. Employers have to take steps to provide their staff with fire safety knowledge to prevent them from being injured, or the workplace from being damaged in the event of a fire.

Why workplace fires should be taken seriously.

Fires can be very costly for businesses. On top of the physical damage, fires can do to the workplace, employees harmed by fires could sue their employers for the injuries sustained at the workplace.

Also Read: 13 tips on fire prevention at a construction site

Fires can disrupt workplace activities, and render the workspace and equipment unusable for a period of time. They also divert business resources towards recovering and rebuilding, so it’s certainly in every employer’s best interest to provide proper fire safety knowledge to every employee.

Why fire safety training is important.

Fire safety training teaches employees how to maintain a safe workspace and prevent fires from occurring. With the right kind of training, employees can be taught how to identify potential fire hazards, and also learn how to respond to fires that occur in the workplace.

Employees who can identify fire hazards around the workplace can also alert others about the potential dangers. This can be helpful in workplace situations where some employees work in more fire-prone areas than others.

Fire safety training can also teach employees how to stop small fires from growing so that damage is minimised. Every employee should be given and know their work fire safety plan that shows them the best way to evacuate the worksite safely in the event of a fire.
Fire assessments
Businesses with 5 or more employees should perform fire assessments to maintain the safety of their workspace. These usually include:

Identifying potential fire hazards

Identifying employees at most risk: Certain employees may work in areas where fires are more likely to break out. These areas should be identified and treated with caution.
Make changes: Once the risks and hazards have been identified, steps should be taken to remove fire hazards or teach employees to exercise caution around those hazards. Such fire safety solutions should be shared with all employees in the workplace.
Review and repeat: The response to a particular event should be reviewed to see how it could be improved in the future. All fire events should be recorded and studied to prevent future breakouts from occurring.

Fire assessments are an on-going process and should be conducted regularly, as new hazards can be introduced to the workplace every day.
Emergency plans
Every employer should have an emergency plan in place. This emergency plan should include a detailed evacuation procedure that shows the right way to leave the worksite in the event of a fire and outlines the locations of assembly points for employees in such situations.

A good emergency plan will show employees the safest escape routes, and provides enough information to ensure that evacuations go smoothly. Some fire safety solutions teach employees how to assess if a fire is small enough to be contained, or large enough that evacuation becomes the only option.

If the fire is small enough to be contained, employees should be taught how to contain it using tools such as fire extinguishers or fire blankets effectively. If evacuation is the only option, employees should know the evacuation route and be familiar with all fire exist doors.

Fire protection systems

Most workplaces include some form of fire protection system. These alert employees in the event of a fire, and can include fire fighting systems such as automated sprinklers.

Employers should review their worksite’s fire protection systems to ensure that they are well suited for detecting and alerting employees when a fire breaks out. Fire detectors should be spread in a way that they are able to detect fires from all regions of the worksite.

Fire alarms should also be located in every room so that employees in every location can be alerted when a fire situation occurs.

Fire protection systems can certainly be of help in dangerous situations. However, they aren’t of much use if your employees aren’t paying attention to them or don’t know how to respond to their alerts.

Knowledge is key

The combination of fire safety knowledge and fire protection systems can keep your employees and workplace safe from fires. Fire safety knowledge should be effectively communicated to employees through training or workshops. Once your employees understand that oxygen, fuel, and heat are all that are required for fires to break out, they will be more vigilant in looking out for potential fire hazards.

Employers should set up regular training drills to ensure that all employees are familiar with the proper evacuation procedures and that new employees are also brought up to speed with these procedures. People don’t have much time to think in emergency situations, so keeping them familiar with emergency procedures can be an effective way to ensure they act without having to stop and think at the moment.

Delays can be costly in emergency fire situations, so do your part to ensure your employees are well prepared.

Author Bio

Ken Thomas is the director at Total Fire Solutions, a leading fire service contractors in the Pacific Rim and one of the top 3 independent distributors for the Asia Pacific region. His vision is to create a ‘one stop shop’ fire protection company committed to NSW mining and heavy industry. He is passionate about and excited by the latest developments in fire protection technology.

3 thoughts on “5 reasons why workplace fire safety knowledge is a necessity”

  1. safety is an important factor in every industry. thank you for sharing this wonder-full article it helps me a lot to understand

  2. More than any other occupation, except perhaps the military, firefighting is something that you absolutely cannot do alone, regardless of your technical skill, physical strength, or personal commitment.

  3. It’s good to learn that automated sprinklers can add protection to your workplace. My brother and I are wanting to build a new building for our business and we were wondering how we could make it safe for our employees. I’ll be sure to tell him that we should get automated fire sprinklers for the building.

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