Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How to Prepare for Commercial Fire Emergencies

There are around 80,000 commercial fires in the United States every year. These cause approximately
3,000 deaths, 18,000 injuries, and over $10 billion in damages.

Here are the top causes of commercial fires and ways to prepare for a fire emergency:

Common Causes

It is important to know how and where most commercial fires start, so you can try to prevent them. Common causes are:

·         Cooking: Typically caused by employees cooking places other than the kitchen
·         Electrical: Usually caused by violations of electrical codes or an overloaded system
·         Heaters/Boilers: Occurs when they are not maintained properly
·         Smoking: Workers smoking in undesignated areas
·         Arson: Usually happens in unused buildings
·         Storage: Storing flammable materials improperly

Preparing the Workplace

Here are steps to ensure the workplace is safe and easy to evacuate:

·         Have fire safety equipment including: fire extinguishers, emergency escape ladders (second floor and above), fire blankets, signage showing this equipment, and the evacuation path
·         Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
·         Put in a sprinkler system
·         Have kitchen hoods with fire extinguishing capabilities
·         Install an alarm system with lights and sound
·         Have emergency lighting

Preparing the Workers

Training is crucial in preparing workers to deal with a fire. Employees need to be reminded annually of emergency procedures. Topics to cover when training workers:

·         Places where cooking is allowed
·         Location of designated smoking areas
·         Proper storage procedures
·         Location of fire safety equipment and proper use of each
·         Operation of fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment
·         Exit routes in all parts of the building and location of all exits
·         Shutdown procedures
·         Type and location of fire hazards in the building
·         Where to meet outside

When the fire alarm activates:

·         Leave the building quickly
·         Do not use elevators in a fire
·         Feel a door before you open it
·         Stop, drop and roll if your clothes catch fire
·         If there is smoke, lower your body

·         Never re-enter until given the all clear

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