It is estimated that there are around 25,000 non-residential fires every year in the UK, with most of these occurring in the workplace. A fire can ruin a business and can kill, so it is important for every organisation to identify the fire hazards and reduce the risk of a fire occurring. A Fire Safety Consultancy Bristol company such as http://keloscape.co.uk/areas-we-cover/fire-safety-consultancy-bristol/ can help you audit your business to idenitfy areas in which you need to improve your fire procedures. Here are some of the most common workplace fire hazards.
Equipment in the workplace, especially electrical equipment, can increase a firm’s fire risk. According to Healthy Working Lives, fire may have a more significant impact on businesses that have poorly maintained equipment or electrical circuits. When using electrical equipment, make sure to turn it off properly when not in use and avoid overloading power sockets.
In workplaces where dust can build up, make sure there is good ventilation. Dust from substances such as wood or plastic can increase the risk of an explosion in a confined space, so provide extraction fans to remove this from the atmosphere.
Waste materials that are left to accumulate in the workplace may increase the fire risk, as they provide the fuel for a fire to burn. This could include things such as paper and cardboard or other combustible materials. According to the Health and Safety Executive, you should ensure there is good housekeeping at all times and avoid the build-up of rubbish that could burn.
Make sure you keep an eye on all heat sources in your workplace. These could include items of equipment and machinery used in work processes but also appliances to control the temperature in the workplace, and especially those used in kitchen areas. Ensure that items are switched off at the end of a working day and perform safety checks on them regularly to make sure they are in good working order. Avoid using faulty equipment and get it repaired or replaced if necessary.
Warehouses and factories that use flammable liquids in the production of items are at a particular risk, as these could ignite quickly under the appropriate conditions. Flammable liquids should always be sealed properly and kept away from any substance or materials that could be sources of ignition. Businesses using flammable liquids should make sure they have adequate fire protection equipment on the premises to deal with any such emergencies.
If you have any designated smoking areas in the workplace, make sure that they are not sited anywhere near to areas where there may be flammable materials present. A discarded cigarette is a fire risk, so provide special bins to ensure cigarettes can be extinguished properly.
Many workplace fires start because of human negligence. This could be forgetting to switch something off, not clearing spillages up properly or putting items in close contact with each other that are fire risks. One of the best ways to prevent these things occurring is to educate staff about the potential fire risks in the workplace so that such instances don’t happen in the first place.