GENERAL PRECAUTIONS IN THE WORKPLACE
Eliminate workplace fire hazards:
Keep workspace and equipment clean, dry, and well-ventilated, and especially clean of oil and dust.
Prepare for emergencies:
Employers should follow these workplace fire safety tips:
HAZARDOUS ELECTRICS AND EQUIPMENT
Use only electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory (i.e. UL).
Immediately replace damaged, hazardous equipment:
Only use three-prong plugs in three-slot outlets (and, similarly: two-slot plug into two-slot outlets).
Equipment that emanates substantial heat should be at least several feet away from combustible surfaces and objects.
Fires Causes Around $10 Billion In Damage Per YearDirect property loss due to fires in the U.S. was an estimated $10.6 billion in 2001.(2)100 Firefighters Die Each YearAbout 100 firefighters are killed each year in duty-related incidents.(6)
SMOKE ALARMS: A NECESSITY, NOT AN OPTION
Invest smoke detectors for every room or office.
Test your smoke detectors(and sprinkling system) once a month.
Replace the batteries at least once a year (possible exception: non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries; still, be sure to test them); many manufacturers also encourage a replacement of the smoke detectors after a decade.
Never disable a smoke alarm.
Consider smoke alarms for the disabled.
A NO-SMOKING ZONE IS LESS OF A DANGER ZONE
Keep the workspace a no-smoking zone. If you must smoke, smoke outdoors, and always ensure that you properly extinguish the cigarette in a sand-filled can, or drown cigarette butts and ashes in water.
Be alert and then alert others. If you smell or spot fire or smoke, bring it immediately to attention.
Never smoke where oxygen is being used; for instance, in a hospital room or hallway, or at a nursing home. Even if the oxygen is turned off, the building is much more vulnerable—oxygen can be explosive and will only serve to fan the flames.
IN CASE OF FIRE: FOLLOW THE EVACUATION PLAN
Immediately call 911 in case of a fire.
Know and understand the fire emergency and evacuation plan with these workplace fire safety tips:
Never use the elevator. Walk—don’t run—down the stairs.
If you cannot evacuate,
Practice; can you feel your way out of the office and building with your eyes closed, or in the dark? Do you know multiple escape routes? Do you know the low windows from which you could jump? Do you instinctively use the back of your hand to feel a door’s heat, and do you remain crouched down as close to the floor as possible?