Preventing Fires in the Workplace

Do you know about the most common fire hazards in your industry? There could be more dangers than you think. Every year, it’s estimated that 80,000 workplace fires seriously damage businesses and injure workers. For 2015, we want to help you and your business recognize and avoid common business place fire hazards, which will help you and your employees be as safe as possible. Once you are aware of these three frequent fire risks, it’s much easier to avoid them later.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Oil Soaked Rags

When a fuel spill happens, reaching for a rag is probably your knee-jerk reaction. However, piles of oily rags become a very dangerous fire hazard in the workplace. Not only are the rags highly flammable, but in some cases piles of rags have been known to get so warm they ignite themselves.

Instead of using a rag to clean workplace spills, we suggest investing in a spill kit with a professional absorbent product. They’re much more efficient at cleaning spills than rags and, depending on whether or not the absorbent product meets your community’s waste disposal guidelines, they can be much easier to dispose of properly.

Old/Malfunctioning Equipment

How long have you been using the current machinery at your factory? If a machine is over a couple decades old, you might be working around a fire hazard. Old and malfunctioning pieces of equipment are more likely to give off sparks when in use. If these sparks land in the wrong spot, (such as a pile of oil soaked rags) you could have a fire on your hands that employees aren’t equipped to handle.

We suggest seriously considering a machinery upgrade. At the very least, be sure to keep old equipment clean and free of clutter in case of sparks. Lastly, complete regular safety evaluations to check wires and gears to be sure the machine is working properly.

Clutter

Even if you always remember to put your tools and materials away correctly, other types of clutter in the work area can act as fuel for a spreading fire. Files stacked on the floor and overflowing trash cans are just a few of the worst offenders. Professional organizers also agree that too much clutter can be a dangerous fire hazard to buildings.

We suggest really taking the time to clean up your area. A potential fire shouldn’t be getting help from your office when spreading throughout a building. Your stack of papers in the corner might look intimidating now, but after taking the time to go through them, you might find things you had forgotten about.
In addition to staying on the look out for these fire hazards, it is also important to have a clear safety plan in the event of a fire. All employees should be aware of where the fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits are located throughout the building. Following these tips will help keep your organization fire free.

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