How to Teach Your Employees About Fire Prevention

Though some industries are certainly more at risk than others, fires are a real threat to just about any kind of workplace, from offices to restaurants to manufacturing facilities. If one does break out and it’s not handled properly, a fire can destroy nearly everything in its path, including property, buildings, and even people.

This is why it’s so important to train your employees in fire prevention, as the best way to deal with a fire is to keep it from happening in the first place. If you want to keep your workplace from dealing with the serious consequences of a fire, then check out the following tips on how to teach your employees about fire prevention.

Identifying Fire Hazards

Fires need a combination of three things to ignite:

  • Heat – something that ignites, like a heater, open flame, light, electrical equipment, etc.
  • Fuel – something that can catch fire, such as wood, paper, paint, gas, propane, etc.
  • Oxygen – what keeps the fire burning

In order to help prevent a fire, teach your employees to look out for situations where there is the possibility that all of these components will mix together, especially the heat and the fuel. If they can’t immediately separate these elements, then at least they will be more vigilant and therefore prepared for dealing with any of the first signs of a fire.

Performing a Fire Safety Risk Evaluation

After your employees have learned how to identify fire hazards, they can then participate in a fire safety risk assessment at the workplace. This type of evaluation looks at the following:

  • Emergency fire evacuation plan, including exits and routes
  • Fire alarms and emergency warning systems
  • Vulnerable employees who may be more at risk
  • Location of extinguishers and other firefighting equipment
  • Staff preparedness for dealing with a fire

Once a thorough fire safety risk assessment has been completed in the workplace, you and your employees will be able to identify any weaknesses in your plans and make the necessary improvements.

Tips for Preventing Fires in the Workplace

While identifying fire hazards and participating in a fire risk assessment are some of the best ways of preventing workplace fires, there are also smaller things that your employees can do nearly every day to help push your risk down even further.

  • Make sure the paths to emergency exits are free and clear of any clutter.
  • Clearly indicate any fire hazards with signs, and make sure there is fire fighting equipment like an extinguisher close by just in case.
  • Ensure that smokers only do so in designated areas that are free from any known fire hazards.
  • If you have any chemicals in the workplace, confirm that they are being used and stored safely by consulting their MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets).
  • Get any electrical issues fixed promptly by a professional electrician.
  • Don’t run wires or cords under rugs, carpets, or close to a heat source. Also keep them out of doorways or pathways where they may be stepped on by employees.