If you’re in a high-rise or multi-storey office building, staying safe is a big aspect that goes into office organization. Having a good workplace safety culture that makes employees feel safe at work involves giving everyone the tools to be prepared in an emergency.
As a building manager, planner, or office manager, planning appropriate safety precautions is part of the job. As an employee who may not have been involved in that process, it’s important to still be aware and receive proper education and training on what to do to prevent fires. Here’s some of our tips for fire safety and prevention at work in an office building.
Your office may have already designated smoking zones, and it’s crucial you follow these rules. Smoking zones have been especially chosen for the location they’re in, and in some cases, there may not be any in your workplace.
A lot of smoking zones are outside not on building property, as this is technically the safest way to prevent fire incidents. The same rules should be applied for e-cigarettes and vaping as well to ensure the safety of all those at work.
The National Fire Protection Association also highlights this important fact about e-cigarettes and vaping:
“Fires have occurred while e-cigarettes were being used, the battery was being charged, or the device was being transported. Battery failures have led to small explosions. Never leave charging e-cigarettes unattended. E-cigarettes should be used with caution.”
Whether you’re the office manager or the building manager, performing inspections of safety equipment should be done on a regular basis. Make a schedule and calendar reminder to do these safety inspections so that they’re not missed.
As well, keep a binder or file folder with a checklist of inventory that’s in your building. This will help you keep track of where everything is on each floor, what is accessible and available to everyone in the building, and if the equipment is up to date.
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services says to prepare a checklist before going through your office inspection and ask these questions when performing your fire safety inspection:
Are all sources of ignition identified?
Is all wiring properly installed and of approved construction, without extensions or temporary wiring?
Are ventilation systems implemented and working properly?
Is garbage removed daily or more frequently?
Are aisles and floors free of oil and other flammable spills?
Is there an approved fire safety plan posted?
Is there a spill control procedure posted?
If you need help installing alarms or seeing if your equipment is out of date, a fire safety inspector can help with that. At Fire Alarm, we provide workplace inspections and training for staff.
Sometimes, your work may require you to call in an outside service to inspect your building once a year or more. It can be easy to skip this step, but it’s important in case of any emergency event.
In addition, performing fire drills and getting employees the right training is important to establish workplace safety culture.
Here’s what the Office of the Fire Commissioner in Manitoba outlines that employees must know in regards to fire safety:
- KNOW the nearest exit.
- KNOW the location of alternate exits from
- all work areas.
- KNOW the location of the nearest fire
- alarm pull station and know how to use it.
- KNOW the sound of the fire alarm.
- KNOW the location of the fire extinguishers and
- know how to use them.