Fires in the national news are a reminder of how important it is to practice fire safety in the workplace and have a plan if fires happen. As your company preps for a reduced workforce over the holidays, take this time to review your fire safety plan and make sure you’re abiding by all regulations. Most workplace fires are started through negligence and minor events, so it’s important to review all policies and procedures to minimize risk. Here are a few important fire safety tips for factories and manufacturing facilities.
• Set aside time to refresh all workers on fire safety protocol and run everyone through a fire safety drill. Of particular importance is making sure everyone is aware of his or her closest building exit(s). Appoint a leader to each team of workers to help coordinate during emergencies and reinforce fire safety measures.
• Ensure that all combustibles, such as textiles, packaging supplies and liquids, are properly stored away from machinery and electrical outlets. Dumpsters should be placed away from electrical boxes and regularly emptied to reduce the availability of fuel for fires.
• Check smoke detectors and replace all batteries. This is especially important in low-trafficked areas where a worker is less likely to spot a fire or smoke before a detector starts beeping.
• In relation to the last tip, make sure that alarm systems are hooked up to emergency generator power in the event that your facility loses its main power.
• Have all sprinkler systems inspected by a professional and make sure sprinkler pipes have no leaks or other damage. Water supply should also be tested at street level to make sure the system has sufficient access to water.
• Check seals on all doors and openings to rooms. Fire needs an oxidizer to burn and spread, so reducing the availability of oxygen can help contain a fire if one starts. Additionally, don’t allow doors to be propped open unnecessarily.
• Ensure all workstations have access to tested, working fire extinguishers and heavy fire blankets to put out small fires in the immediate area.
• If not already in place, invest in fire-resistant treatments for all surfaces of your facility, including walls, floors, ceilings and windows.
With careful planning, your facility can stay safe and ready for fire emergencies while educating everyone on the team about the importance of fire safety. This list, however, is by no means exhaustive. Consult with your company’s management team to make sure you have all the resources and preventative measures in place to meet all safety guidelines. What are some other ways your company practices fire safety? Let us know in the comments below.