How to Identify Fire Hazards in Your Workplace
Fire is one of the biggest hazards in most workplaces and job sites.
But because every workplace is different, you need to identify the specific hazards in your premises if you want to ensure fire safety for your staff and employees.
To do this effectively, here’s what you should do:
Identify possible sources of heat.
Anything that could possibly produce fire or heat can be a fire hazard in a workplace. When identifying possible sources of heat, make sure you do it thoroughly and check everything in your workplace, not just the obvious ones.
Some of the most common sources of heat that you should look out for include:
- Cooking equipment – stoves, microwaves, toasters, etc.
- Electrical wiring – especially loose or broken wiring/power outlets
- Heating equipment – heaters, heat lamps, boilers
- Electric appliances – refrigerators, televisions, etc.
- Hot surfaces – especially in your workplace has plenty of big machines and heavy equipment
- Rubbish and waste material – especially rubbish or waste not managed or disposed of properly
- Combustible materials – flammable liquids, solvents, petrol, fuel, etc.
- Computers and servers – including server rooms
If it’s something that gives off heat or could catch fire when it gets hot enough, then it could be a fire hazard.
Check your fire safety equipment.
It’s important to remember that fire hazards don’t just come from things that can burn. Your fire risk also goes up dramatically if you don’t have the right fire safety equipment in place.
Some of the essential fire safety equipment include:
- Fire extinguishers
- Fire blankets
- Smoke alarms
- Fire hose reels
- And more!
When checking your workplace fire safety equipment, remember to not only check if you have them, but also if you have enough of them. The larger your workplace is, the more fire safety equipment you’ll likely need.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to also check the condition and expiry dates of your fire safety equipment – fire extinguishers, for example, can expire or wear out over time.
Evaluate your employee’s fire safety knowledge and skills.
In many cases, how well you can prevent workplace fires will only be as good as your employees’ fire safety knowledge and skills.
If they don’t know what to do when a fire breaks out, or if they don’t practice proper fire safety measures, then your risk of a fire will undoubtedly increase.
When identifying fire hazards in your workplace, make sure you also assess your employees’ fire safety skills and knowledge. Although most fire safety equipment are easy and simple to use, they do require a certain level of skill to use properly.
If you find out that your team’s fire safety skills are lacking, then consider investing in fire safety training for your employees to ensure proper fire safety.
Watch out for bad habits.
Keeping your workplace safe from fires requires cooperation from everyone in your team. And this means ensuring that everyone follows proper fire safety measures and avoids habits or behaviours that increase your risk of fires. Some of the most common bad habits in the workplace that you need to watch out for and avoid include:
- Bad housekeeping – The dirtier and more cluttered your workplace is, the higher your risk of fires.
- Improper storage of flammable materials – Flammable or combustible materials need to be stored properly to avoid accidentally igniting them.
- Overloading power outlets – Overloaded power outlets can easily cause fires, especially if too many things are plugged in at the same time.
Complete a Risk Assessment.
Not all fire hazards are obvious to the untrained eye. If you want to identify all fire hazards in your workplace and evaluate your company’s ability to address them, then consider getting a complete risk assessment from qualified fire safety experts. This can help you ensure that you’ve covered everything in your workplace for fire safety while getting appropriate recommendations from specialists. A comprehensive fire safety audit can identify gaps in your fire safety measures and identify areas of improvement.
Need help improving your fire safety in the workplace?
If you need help ensuring proper fire safety in your workplace, don’t hesitate to contact us to get expert guidance and support. We help businesses of all types and sizes keep their workplaces safe and prevent fires as much as possible.