8 Ways to Prevent Workplace Fires: Electrical and Fire Safety Guidelines

Sep 1, 2021
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The number of fire cases in the workplace has increased by a staggering 75% in just one year. This is likely due to an increase of construction and renovation projects, as well as more businesses opening their doors. This number can be reduced by the help and advice of commercial electricians and putting safety protocols into place that prevent fires before they occur.

The number one cause of workplace fires is electrical equipment. Preventing these types of fires can be as simple as following safety guidelines for your job site. Improving electrical safety in the workplace should also be a priority in any office or building and it's important to know the proper fire evacuation plan, escape routes, and what to do when you encounter an actual fire.

This post will cover 8 fire safety guidelines to prevent office fires including tips on how to improve both electrical safety and fire safety at work! Learn more about workplace fire safety, electrical equipment, and more below!

Keep the Work Area Clear and Organized

This is a common fire safety tip – it's important to keep your workspace clean at all times, especially if you're using power tools or other electrical equipment. Preventing workplace fires starts with keeping it well-organized so that there aren't any flammable objects in easy reach of sparks or flames.

When there is a lot of clutter in the office, it's easy for a spark to start a fire. So when you're working on your desk or workspace, make sure that all of the items nearby aren't flammable and remove anything from within arm's reach that could catch fire easily (like stacks of paper).

Also, make sure that you're aware of what's in your storage and filing cabinets so that there aren't any combustible items accidentally left inside. Keeping everything organized will help prevent workplace fires by keeping flammable objects out of reach from sparks or flames.

Secure Electrical Connections

One common issue that can lead to building fires is electrical malfunctions. If there are exposed wires, connections are loose or frayed, and the equipment has been painted over or covered in any way, workers should be aware of these conditions as they could pose a fire hazard if not addressed immediately. Keeping work areas clean and free from dust is also important to prevent foreign objects from coming into contact with electrical wires and creating a spark.

As for fire safety in the workplace, one of the most common causes is unattended or poorly monitored cooking appliances (stove tops, ovens, microwaves). Leaving these items on even while leaving your job site for breaks can cause costly damage if there is a fire. If you are working in an office setting, ensure that all printers and copiers are turned off when not being used to avoid excess heat buildup which can also cause fires if left on too long.

Don't Overload Outlets

Overloading outlets is a common cause of electrical fire. Many people are guilty of this mistake, whether they realize it or not. The main reason for this problem is that many outlets in the workplace have an insufficient number of outlets to handle all the appliances and power tools being used at one time which causes them to overload the circuit system.

Overloading outlets can cause the circuit breaker to pop or electrical fires. It is recommended that you don’t plug more than one appliance into a single outlet at any time, even if you are using extension cords and power strips.

Another reason for this problem is because many people use multi-plugs in order to fit all their appliances into one outlet. This is another fire hazard and it can cause the same electrical problems as overloading outlets since multi-plugs are usually designed to be used with a single appliance at any given time.

Unplug Power Cords when they are Not In Use.

As with all electrical appliances, power cords are meant to be plugged and unplugged. If you leave the cord plugged in when not using it, that is a risk for fire hazard. Even if an appliance has been turned off, there may still be risks of electric shock or damage to equipment if left plugged in. This is especially true in humid conditions where corrosion or rust may begin to form.

Whenever possible, use a power strip with an on/off switch so that all connected equipment can be turned off simultaneously when not being used. If you are using multiple electronic devices at once and want to unplug one device without disrupting the others plugged into the same outlet, use a power strip. Otherwise, unplug cords from the wall when not in use to avoid fires and other electrical dangers.

When you leave the office for the day, or any time you are away from your desk for an extended period of time during work hours, turn off all electronic devices and unplug their power cords. If someone else will be in charge while you are gone, let them know that they should follow these guidelines as well when not using equipment.

Have a Fire Extinguishers

fire extinguisher for commercial electrical safety

Knowing where the fire extinguishers are located in your workplace and how to use them is crucial. This involves knowing which type of fire extinguisher you should be using as well as what safety precautions you must take before, during, and after the application of any kind of fire-fighting equipment or device.

All employees should know which type of fire extinguisher to use before initiating any kind of fire safety or suppression activity. Fire extinguishers range from water (which is suitable for small fires), foam (suitable for flammable liquids) and powder (suitable for electrical fires).

Proper orientation of employees in the event of a fire is key to ensure that everyone stays safe. Employers should also provide at least one person with the appropriate training required in order to use any kind of fire extinguisher properly. A self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) must be worn when operating such equipment or devices, especially if used on an infrequent basis.

Emergency Exit Plan in Case of Fire

commercial building fire exit electrical safety

Fire drills are necessary every so often, and employees should be familiar with the evacuation plan. This means knowing where to go in case of an emergency, as well as how long it will take them to get there.

In the event of a fire, make sure you know how to get out safely. If you can’t find your way to an exit, make sure there is a place that will allow you to safely wait until emergency personnel arrive and know where the fire extinguishers are located in case you need them. If possible, call 911 before evacuating in order for first responders to know where you are once they arrive.

If the fire is very small and contained, it’s often best to put out flames with a cloth or other material rather than try to use an extinguisher – this should only be done if there is no risk of electrical shock. If a fire is too big for you alone to handle or if no one else has come into contact with it yet, evacuate everyone from the building. This should be done even if you think the fire can be controlled.

Regular Electrical Maintenance

commercial electrical services

Keeping your electrical appliances and equipment in good working order is a crucial part of preventing fires. In addition to keeping equipment in working order, it's also important to schedule regular maintenance services for the building where you work. Hiring commercial electricians can help reduce the risk of electrical fires and keep your business safe.

Electrical maintenance services can help you ensure safer and more efficient electrical devices in your business. They are very important for any company that uses a lot of electricity and equipment on a regular basis.

Electrical maintenance services should be performed by qualified commercial electricians with experience working with different types of appliances, tools, wires, outlets, etc., who will know the difference between a faulty device and an outdated or poorly designed model.

Safe and One Location for Flammable Liquids

Store flammable liquids like gasoline in a safe location instead of keeping them on the work floor. This will help keep you and your employees healthy because it reduces accidents that could cause fires, explosions, or burns. Keeping these dangerous substances out of the way will also prevent any workplace distractions so everyone can stay focused at their jobs.

There should be a proper flammable storage area away from the work floor and following safety precautions should be a must for all employees when storing flammable liquids.

These safer locations are mostly located in a separate room with proper ventilation and outside of the building. Some of them can be on a separate floor, but only if the room has a fireproof door and there is an alarm system for emergencies.

In conclusion

Improving electrical safety measures is important to maintain your electrical system in place to prevent workplace fires. Aside from imposing fire safety guidelines, you also need a professional service provider who can provide commercial & experienced electricians for any project. We at Veracity Electric are here to help with all of your needs from design, installation, maintenance and more! With years of experience and expertise, we know how important it is to have an organized team on the job site - so schedule your next electrical repair and maintenance today!

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