Preventing and Responding To Workplace Fires
Every year, businesses in and around South Boston, VA, are affected by fire damage. This is a leading cause of property damage as well as workplace injuries. As an employer or manager, there are several steps you can take to prevent fires and the burns that may result from fires.
Identify Common Causes of Workplace Fire Damage
The first step in prevention is education. Learn to recognize the most common workplace fire hazards, so you can take steps to avoid them:
- Overloaded power outlets
- Faulty wiring
- Old or damaged equipment
- Damaged electronics
- Unsupervised sources of heat
- Buildup of combustible materials
- Flammable liquids and compounds
- Improperly disposed of cigarettes
- Smoking near flammable or combustible items
- Negligence and human error
Your fire safety plan should include measures that prevent the ignition of a fire as well as those that reduce harm to your commercial property and the people doing business there.
Take Simple Steps To Reduce the Risk of Fire
For example, taking out the garbage each day, especially highly combustible items such as shredded paper and oily rags, helps you avoid serious fire damage. Other preventative actions include hiring professionals to maintain and inspect wiring, appliances, and electronics.
Make sure there's plenty of ventilation around your equipment and make sure electrical control panels are easy to reach. Properly store chemicals and explosive materials.
Train Your Employees To Increase Fire Safety
These trainings must happen repeatedly and consistently. This must include regular drills, as well as training in how to evacuate in case of a fire and how to perform burn first aid. One tip from emergency professionals is to assign every employee a task to complete during an emergency. This purpose helps individuals remain calm during the crisis.
Comply With OSHA Standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets safety standards for businesses. You may be required to have a fire suppression system in place as well as fire extinguishers, alarms, and first aid supplies. OSHA compliant first aid kits are available, but it is your responsibility to make sure that you have all necessary supplies on hand. Check with your local licensing and regulations bureau, the neighborhood fire department, or your insurance provider for specifics.
In general, however, you should have a variety of bandages and tape, antiseptics and antibiotics, cold packs, eye and skin washes, hand sanitizers, and sterile pads. If a fire breaks out in your workplace, you'll need to have burn dressings and treatments in your kit.
Prepare for Injuries
Burns may be caused directly by flames, steam, chemicals, or electricity. They may also be the result of high temperatures, hot liquids, and exposure to a heat source. If burns are major, professional medical treatment is essential. Major burns penetrate through multiple layers of skin, cause skin to be charred or dry and leathery, cover more than three inches, or are located in sensitive areas of the body.
Minor burns may be treated on the spot by first cooling the affected area, removing tight clothing or jewelry, applying a gentle, moisturizing lotion, and loosely bandaging the burn. Don't break open any blisters.
When fire damage occurs at work, a professional cleanup and recovery team will care for your property. It's up to you to ensure that your people are safe and cared for.