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Six elements to consider for a fire-safe workplace

The greatest fire risks are often the ones you overlook. Many workplace fires can be prevented through awareness, proactive fire safety, and adequate knowledge from employers and employees alike. What are the risks in your business, and what should you do in case of an accident?

As every workplace is unique, at Protectas, we always conduct on-site visits to help you identify your needs. We then conduct a risk inventory and examine the existing fire hazards in your specific workplace. Here, we outline the most common reasons fires occur in the workplace and advise on simple routines that can save lives and property.


1. Stay vigilant to fire risks due to neglect


Employees can do a lot to reduce the risk of fire and resulting injuries. One of the most common causes of fires is human negligence, such as forgotten electrical appliances, boiling pots left unattended, and lights left on unattended. Having clear procedures for candles in the workplace, for example, by always designating a responsible person and posting reminders, is crucial. But remember, of course, the safest practice for candle lighting is to not allow it at all. By installing timers on all electronic devices, you ensure that nothing is left on and unattended after work hours. A fire blanket and extinguisher should be in the kitchen.


Tips for a fireproof kitchen

  • Document and follow procedures and rules
  • Use timers on electronic equipment
  • Equip the kitchen with a fire blanket and extinguisher.


2. Consider risks from nearby businesses

Do not forget what is happening around you. Even if your business has a low risk of fire, good fire protection and trained staff, neighboring businesses may pose a higher fire risk. Make sure you are well aware of what is happening in the area and what risks it entails. Do you need to install more smoke detectors and ensure adequate evacuation routes? The evacuation plan may need to be adjusted based on your new knowledge of other activities on the property. Protectas helps you discover existing needs and suitable products for the property.


Tips for increasing awareness of your environment

  • Talk to neighbors and property owners about home risks
  • Review and adapt the evacuation plan if necessary
  • Secure with more smoke detectors for increased safety.


3. Prevent outdoor fires


Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for fires to occur outside buildings. Waste, pallets, and other items should preferably be placed at least five meters away from the building facade to reduce the risk of a criminal fire spreading to your premises. The same principle applies to smoking. Document procedures for where employees are allowed to smoke and ensure there is some distance from the building.


Tips for preventing outdoor fires

  • Maintain cleanliness along the house wall
  • Have a designated smoking area.


4. Secure maintenance work


Sometimes, visitors come to perform various types of maintenance work. Work that can result in sparks or accidental electrical faults. Ensure that routines for maintenance work are documented. For example, the surrounding environment should be safe, and no flammable materials should be nearby.


Tips for Safe maintenance work

  • Have special routines for maintenance work
  • Inform visitors of your fire protection routines
  • Secure the work area against flammable materials.


5. Protect electronic equipment from fires


Electrical faults are a common source of fire. Establish a routine to check electricity and prevent hazardous electrical installations. Unplug mobile phone and laptop chargers when not in use, and ensure not to overload power outlets with too many contacts at once. Electric bikes have lithium batteries that many cyclists prefer to charge during the workday. Although the probability is low, the consequences are significant if a lithium battery catches fire. The smoke is extremely toxic. Therefore, make sure you have routines to know where batteries can be charged and that it is an isolated location with good ventilation.


Tips for safe electronic equipment

  • Store and charge lithium batteries remotely
  • Have a routine for checking electrical installations
  • Unplug and use timers.


6. Strengthen fire safety knowledge and procedures


When a fire breaks out, it is crucial that everyone in the workplace knows what to do. The employer is responsible for ensuring that employees have evacuation procedures and knowledge. According to the law, there must always be firefighting equipment within 25 meters of where you stand. But since it is rarely used, it is not certain that you will see it in a stressful situation. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that everyone can train to handle extinguishers, fire blankets, and evacuate premises. Protectas offers training tailored to your business. We focus fully on your specific needs, such as teaching employees procedures to prevent accidents but also how to handle fires and perform first aid.


Tips for dealing with a workplace fire

  • Properly inventory risks
  • Document all routines
  • Train employees and practice fire protection annually
  • Regularly maintain all technical firefighting equipment.


A Custom Risk Inventory Ensures Nothing Is Left to Chance


During a risk inventory, the goal is to examine what routines and rules exist today and what needs to be added. The next step in the inventory is to review technical fire protection. Is all necessary equipment available? How is it maintained? Lastly, what does the training plan look like? Since every business and premises are different, fire risks and protection needs are also different. It is common for the greatest fire risk to be the risk you are not aware of. Protectas is a reliable partner with in-depth knowledge of the best way to protect your business from fire accidents. The first step is for us to conduct a customized risk inventory at your location. We ensure you have the right documentation, equipment, and knowledge so that you and your employees are well-prepared for unexpected events. Do not let any undetected risks remain in your workplace.


If you would like to learn more about risk assessment and solutions for effective fire protection, please contact us, and we will get back to you. We conduct the initial risk assessment for free.

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