Fire preparedness is vital in all industries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, over 113,000 fires started in non-residential buildings across the US in 2015. These fires resulted in 80 civilian deaths, 1,425 civilian injuries, and $3.1 billion in property damage. By training your employees to prepare for a fire, you can speed up emergency responses and evacuations to save lives and preserve property.
Train Your Employees in Hazard Recognition & Prevention
Your primary goal is to stop fires from igniting in the first place. This requires your employees to know what hazards exist in the workplace and how to prevent them from contributing to a fire.
First, conduct a thorough sweep of your facility and document all known hazards. With this information, you can teach your employees the steps they must take to control unavoidable risks and eliminate many others altogether. Here are the types of hazard prevention tips you might offer your employees, depending on your industry:
Keep the work area as free of clutter and combustible waste as possible.
Make sure items that can catch fire are stored away from heat-producing equipment, including burners, coffee makers, and copy machines.
Immediately repair or replace electrical equipment that has a damaged cord.
Make sure power outlets are never overloaded and only use extension cords temporarily.
Discontinue use of equipment that overheats or gives off a burning odor.
Keep emergency exit routes unobstructed at all times.
Smoke only in designated areas and dispose of cigarette butts properly.
Teach Your Employees How to Respond to a Fire
Even with the best prevention methods, a fire may still break out in your building. Make sure your employees are prepared for an emergency situation by providing adequate training.
The purpose of a fire drill is to practice getting everyone out of the building safely. Emphasize the importance of recognizing a fire alarm and following evacuation procedures, which may include:
Closing doors behind you as you exit each room
Meeting in a designated location a safe distance from the building
Performing roll calls
Use your fire drills as a chance to identify flaws in your evacuation procedures and make adjustments for next time.
Fire Response Training
Teach your employees the precise actions they should take if they see a fire:
Immediately activate the nearest pull station to sound the fire alarm throughout the building. If the alarm is monitored, this also initiates a response from the fire department.
If your alarm system is not monitored, instruct a nearby employee to call 911 or the local fire department.
If the fire is small and controllable, attempt to extinguish it. When you do, be sure to stand between the fire and the nearest exit to ensure you have a way out if your attempts are unsuccessful.
If the fire is too large by the time you see it, or you are unable to extinguish it quickly, evacuate immediately. Follow the established evacuation procedures, and assist employees and customers along your exit route.
The best way to ensure every employee receives proper fire preparedness training is to establish and implement a fire safety program. For help getting your program started, please contact Kauffman Co. We provide fire protection services to homes and businesses throughout the Houston area.
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May 1, 2022
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