October is National Fire Safety Month, and there’s no better time to increase fire safety awareness in your workplace.
- Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.
- Place oily rags in a covered metal container. This waste must be properly disposed of on a regular basis.
- Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.
- Report electrical hazards. Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment. Never attempt electrical repairs unless you are qualified and authorized.
- Maintain free access to all electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels would slow down the shutting down of power in an emergency situation.
- Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.
- Use all precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.
- Help maintain building security to prevent arson fires. Lock up as instructed; report suspicious persons; and don’t leave combustible rubbish where it can be set afire outside the building.
- Smoke only in designated areas, and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.
- Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials.
- Post emergency telephone numbers as well as the company address by the telephone in your station for quick access if a fire were to start in your work area.
- Learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
You’ll note that tip #12 stresses the importance of using a fire extinguisher. Hands-on fire extinguisher training is the best way to make sure your employees are prepared for fire emergencies