Essential Fire Safety Considerations For The Office

Office fire safety is a very important aspect of doing business today. The importance of fire safety is often overlooked in the office environment but by taking a few precautions workers can remain safe in their workplace. There are several points to consider when composing an effective fire safety program in the office environment.

For employers who have 9 or more employees, the government has mandated special fire safety requirements. These are called Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards. These standards call for several mandatory components to an effective fire safety program of an employer.

Smoke Detectors
One of the most basic criteria of any office fire safety program is having smoke detectors strategically placed throughout the office. Smoke detectors are an effective warning mechanism in the event of a fire. They should be placed in each room of the office as well as in the hallways, break rooms and the restroom areas. There have been cases, for instance, where an employee may take a quick smoke break in the restroom or break room and inadvertently throw a cigarette in the trash. This of course could cause a fire that may not be detected right away without smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are an important part of any office fire safety plan.
Evacuation Plan
Another fundamental component is called an evacuation plan. An evacuation plan is a written plan for evacuating a building in the event of a fire. The evacuation plan usually includes a map of the building that shows all of the exits. In addition, it shows the planned exit route employees are to take in the event of a fire or other emergency. This map should be visible on the wall in the office where it is easily accessible.
Fire Drills
In addition to an evacuation map, fire drills in the office are usually required to be carried out at least once every six months. Fire drills are a very important aspect of determining the feasibility of the evacuation plan. In some cases, for instance, an exit door may be found to be locked during a fire drill or it may be blocked by stored items or other debris. By having a fire drill office workers can find this out before an actual emergency and make changes such as unlocking the door or moving things out of the way of the exit door. Having fire extinguishers available in several areas of the office is also essential. One such area where an extinguisher is needed is in the break room or kitchen areas. If an electrical or kitchen fire should occur, having a fire extinguisher may help stop the fire from engulfing other areas of the office.
Other fire safety considerations in the office include having power strips that are designed for properly grounding electronics and computers, and being sure not to overload electrical outlets. Unplugging unused or unneeded electrical equipment will help lower the risk of fire in the office. Taking these precautions may help ensure the safety of both employees and business assets in the office environment.
About the Author:  Fiona is a hobby writer who focuses on essential home fire safety tips and protection.