Millions of fires happen across the United States every year. These occurrences lead to loss of property, wealth and life.
While most people are focused on their homes when they think about fires, did you know that your business is at risk of going up in flames as well?
Whether you work out of an office or you’re operating out of a warehouse, there are a number of fire hazards present in your space that, if not managed, can lead to a catastrophic disaster.
Awareness is everything when it comes to fire prevention. To that end, our team shares with you what we think are the 7 most common fire hazards that exist in business settings so you can be proactive in laying these issues to rest.
1. Power Cords
Just about every single business runs on electricity. Our reliance on this resource ineveitably has led to a reliance on power cords.
The issue with power cords is that many are cheaply made and all cords are prone to fire danger if not cared for.
Do your power cords have burn marks around their outlets? Do some of your cords have frayed wires?
If they do, throw them out. These cords are at a high risk of catching fire.
Never use damaged power cords. Never overload an extension cable. Never daisy chain multiple extensions to increase the number of outlets that you have available.
All of those seemingly harmless actions could lead to serious damage.
2. Gas Stoves
Workspaces are increasingly coming with kitchen areas. While these kitchen areas make things like preparing lunch convenient for your employees, they also present serious risks.
Kitchen fires are the most common types of fires in the United States. They are generally brought about due to negligence while using gas stoves.
To help reduce the risk of accidents happening in the kitchen, post safety procedures near your gas stove that remind people to keep flammable objects away from open flames. These notices should also tell employees to shut off burners after cooking.
You could also opt for a safer electric stove or do away with your office kitchen altogether.
Candles might seem like an oddity in the office but believe us when we say that plenty of employees choose to make their cubicles more homey by having them.
As with any object that features an open flame, candles are serious fire hazards. This is especially true since desk candles are almost certainly sitting within close proximity to paper.
Given their danger and the fact that their scent might disturb other workers, it’s best to disallow the presence of candles at work altogether.
Virtually all business spaces are smoke-free. Still, these buildings tend to allow smoking just outside.
Smoking outside could be every bit as dangerous as smoking inside.
One partially lit cigarette being thrown on top of brush, rubbish or other flammable objects lining your office or warehouse could set the whole place on fire.
The best policy here is to disallow smoking within a large radius of your building. The further that you can legally push that boundary, the better.
Stoves are the number one fire-causing appliances in a kitchen. That’s not to say though that they’re the only appliance that could cause you trouble.
Common kitchen items like hot plates or toasters can also catch on fire due to electrical issues or overheating.
Make sure that all employees know to unplug appliances between uses to reduce the fire risk of these common cooking tools.
6. Portable Heaters
It can get extremely cold in the winter in some parts of the country. If you’re working out of a large warehouse that’s not an HVAC protected office, you might be tempted to bring in portable heaters.
This is not recommended for the simple reason that many portable heaters can overheat and combust.
Of course, not all portable heaters are created equally. Some have heat fail-safes and a number of other features that make them a lot safer than your standard heating unit.
Our advice is to shop for only the best heating devices and to monitor them closely while they’re doing their job.
All it takes it one heater being left on overnight to not have a building to come back to in the morning.
7. Heavy Machinery
Warehouses might use a variety of heavy machinery to manufacture or move various items. These pieces of machinery need to be operated with care and only by people that are skilled.
Drills could throw sawdust around which is flammable. Friction from improperly oiled forklifts could also present a fire risk.
Ensuring that you have a proper commercial sprinkler system for your business is a great way to minimize fire damage. The best way to fight a fire is to be proactive in not causing one though so monitor your warehouse’s risks and lay to bed anything that might jeopardize its safety.
Wrapping Up Fire Hazards That Could Ruin Your Business
Everything from candles to gas stoves represent common fire hazards that are found in businesses. While these items on their surface don’t seem capable of ruining your organization, one mistake and they could.
Make fire safety a priority for your company. Educate your employees on what’s possible.
Getting ahead of big issues like this can go a long way when it comes to the safety of your livelihood and life.
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