Employee fire safety training

Top Fire Safety Tips: At Home and At Work

October is fire prevention month. The goal being to raise fire safety awareness across the U.S. by educating families, students, and communities to ensure you and your family are protected. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) campaign for 2021 is “Learn The Sounds of Fire Safety.” Fire safety month first came about first through fire prevention week, which first started in 1922 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Throughout October, fire departments provide education on fire prevention and home safety.

To help protect you and your family, we are sharing our top 10 at work and at home fire safety tips below.

Did you know?

  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires with no working smoke alarms
  • Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires
  • Only 43% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental poisoning in the US
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home

Source: First Alert


Top 10 Fire Safety Tips – At Home

1. Watch your cooking – Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

2. Give space heaters space – Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.

3. Smoke outside – Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.

4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach – Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.

5. Inspect electrical cords – Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.

6. Be careful when using candles – Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.

7. Have a home fire escape plan – Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

8. Install smoke alarms – Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Interconnect smoke alarms throughout the home, so that when one sounds, they all sound.

9. Test smoke alarms – Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries once a year or when the alarm “chirps” to tell you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.

10. Install sprinklers – If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.

Source: National Fire Protection Agency


Top 10 Fire Safety Tips – At Work

1. Have an evacuation strategy Every business should have an evacuation strategy to make it safer and more efficient for employees and customers to exit the building during a fire. In fact, OSHA guidelines state that a business must have an emergency evacuation plan (EAP) if they anticipate anyone evacuating their premises during a fire or other emergency. Make sure your EAP complies with OSHA requirements and industry best practices. Communicate your plan with others in your organization, and post evacuation maps near stairwells and main walkways for easy access.

2. Maintain fire safety equipment Fire safety equipment such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinklers should be inspected regularly. Any faulty equipment should be replaced right away. Store equipment in an easily accessible area that’s free from clutter. Keep up with routine maintenance by setting a calendar reminder or designate a time of year to schedule both formal inspections and independent upkeep. For example, many people use daylight savings time as a reminder to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.

3. Train your employeesHuman error is a common cause of fire in the workplace. Mishandling chemicals, improperly storing combustible materials and kitchen mishaps are just a few of the many situations that could spark a fire. Train your employees how to properly operate machinery and safely store and dispose of hazardous materials to minimize fire hazards. Teach your employees the importance of following safety procedures and keep them engaged. It can reduce careless or negligent behavior that might cause an accident.

4. Conduct routine fire drillsPanicking during an emergency can have dire consequences. Help familiarize your employees with your emergency action plan by practicing fire drills a few times a year. Routine drills can help employees respond to a fire quickly and calmly. Your employees will be better equipped to guide themselves, and others, from your building if they know where to go. Consider having unannounced fire drills to measure the readiness of your staff and address any underlying concerns. Make sure it’s taken seriously.

5. Post clear exits and escape routesSmoke quickly infiltrates spaces, making it hard to see. Lighted signs can make it easier to locate exits. Consider installing floor lights, especially on main walkways, to guide those who need to crawl to safety. Post easy-to-read escape routes in several places throughout your building and make sure exits are clearly marked. These maps can direct people to alternative routes and help those unfamiliar with your building to find their way to safety.

6. Practice good housekeepingAn unorganized workspace full of debris and clutter can be a fire safety hazard. Minimize your risk by keeping a tidy workspace. This will make it easier to access emergency equipment and keep escape routes clear. Establish a designated space for inventory, files and combustible materials to help you stay organized. Regularly purge old files and items that you no longer need to lower your risk of fire.

7. Properly store and dispose of hazardous materialsDesignate a well-ventilated area of your workspace to store flammable materials like solvents and fuels. This includes office cleaning products, which are often flammable. Establish standards for removing oily rags, flammable solvents, gasoline and other accelerants. Employees should use appropriate protective gear and equipment when handling and disposing these items.

8. Schedule routine equipment maintenanceEquipment such as appliances, machinery and computers should be maintained on a regular basis. For example, greasy stoves, lint-filled dryer vents and overheated machinery can all spark fires. Keep a list of your equipment and corresponding inspection dates. If you hire an outside business to do your inspections and maintenance, make upkeep easier by scheduling your next appointment before they leave. Another convenient option is to schedule all maintenance appointments at the beginning of the year.

9. Establish designated smoking areasPrevent fire by creating a designated smoking area that’s far away from your building, inventory and combustible materials. Invest in commercial smoking receptacles and limit smoking to a specific area to help keep cigarette butts contained. Dispose of ashes away from flammable liquids and trash.

10. Eliminate electrical hazardsElectrical hazards are common causes of workplace fires. Overloaded outlets, defective wiring and overheated equipment are just a few of the many electrical fire threats businesses face. Encourage employees to speak up if they notice electrical hazards, such as frayed wiring. If repairs are needed, make sure it’s done by a qualified electrician.

Source: ProgressiveCommercial

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