Whether a fire happens in your home or business, it is certainly the last thing we want to happen, let alone deal with the aftermath of it all. But we must in order to recover financially, emotionally, and physically (property-wise). Businesses should consult with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970) on best fire prevention practices. OSHA suggests the initial actions should be:
Employers should train workers about fire hazards in the workplace and about what to do in a fire emergency. If you want your workers to evacuate, you should train them on evacuation procedures. If you expect your workers to use fire-fighting equipment, you should provide the appropriate equipment and train workers to use it safely.
To be set up best for a successful recovery, OSHA suggests the following checklist as a starting point in developing an effective prevention.
OSHA standards required for fire prevention, employers must develop an emergency action plan that:
- Describes the routes for workers to use and procedures to follow.
- Accounts for all evacuated employees.
- Remains available for employee review.
- Includes procedures for evacuating disabled employees.
- Addresses evacuation of employees who stay behind to shut down critical plant equipment.
- Includes preferred means of alerting employees to a fire emergency.
- Provides for an employee alarm system throughout the workplace.
- Requires an alarm system that includes voice communication or sound signals such as bells, whistles, or horns.
- Makes the evacuation signal known to employees.
- Ensures the provision of emergency training.
- Requires employer review of the plan with new employees and with all employees whenever the plan is changed.
Planning ahead and having a clear fire prevention plan can significantly reduce workplace fire risk. In addition, having a fire prevention plan in place is not only required by OSHA standards but also essential for the safety of employees, protection of property, and the overall continuity of business operations.
Furthermore, a well-implemented fire prevention plan demonstrates a commitment to safety and can help mitigate potential legal and financial liabilities.
Should there be the unfortunate event of a fire, after the firefighters have left the scene, it is now clean-up time, including dealing with your insurance company during the claim. However, managing a commercial fire damage claim can be complicated, time-consuming, and stressful. Teams of licensed public adjusters, estimators, and valuation experts can handle the entire insurance claim, leaving you the time to attend to the business and its employees. In speaking with an expert public adjuster in California, they said that most reputable adjusters, for example, will offer assistance in the following:
- Thoroughly review your policy
- Document and quantify all damages and lost income
- Prepare a comprehensive strategy
- Negotiate a fair and just settlement
Property owners must prioritize fire prevention measures, regularly update their emergency action plan, and ensure that all employees are trained and aware of the procedures to follow in case of a fire emergency. By taking proactive steps to prevent fires, property owners can safeguard their business, minimize disruptions, and provide a safe working environment for their employees.
Seeking service with a restoration company is also highly suggested. Fire restoration professionals in the field go to work with dedicated support teams comprising a project management lead, and insurance claims negotiation, client service, and administrative support professionals who should work diligently behind the scenes to determine the best course of action for your unique situation and to help return to stability as quickly as possible.
A business loan may be in order if you have a fire that destroys your physical assets and you’re waiting on the funds from your claim. Accredited asset-based lenders should understand the complexity of asset recovery and offer comprehensive solutions that aid the company in effectively navigating this challenging phase. Their goal must be to provide stability, strategic support, and the financial resources needed to help your company succeed during and after the asset recovery process.
10 ways to prevent fire from spreading in the workplace
To further create a safer work environment for everyone in the building, make sure to adhere to the following ten actions:
1. Accessible Fire Safety Equipment
2. Proper Disposal of any hazardous waste in a metal container that has a lid
3. Regular Maintenance services for all of your fire protection equipment
4. Safe Storage of chemicals, flammable materials, or other hazardous substances
5. Clean Environment
6. Precautionary Measures
7. Building Security
8. Designated Smoking Area
9. Emergency Plan
10. Adhere to OSHA & NFPA Guidelines
Not only will your team have a safer work environment for everyone in the building, but the proper fire prevention practices can ensure your building does not go up in flames as easily.
How do fires start in the basement?
Basements and garages present additional fire safety risks compared to other home areas. Flammable liquids stored in combustibles, gas appliances, and electrical tools can lead to fires.
Moreover, as a property owner, preventing fires in the workplace, in the basement, or on the top floor it is not only a matter of compliance with OSHA regulations but also a crucial aspect of risk management.
Regular inspections of electrical systems, adequate maintenance of fire-fighting equipment, and proper storage of flammable materials are just a few examples of the proactive measures that can be taken to mitigate fire risks. Being proactive in fire prevention not only ensures the safety and well-being of employees but also safeguards the long-term success and profitability of the business.
Fires can result in devastating property damage, potential injuries or fatalities, and significant financial losses for the business. By implementing effective fire prevention measures, property owners can protect their investments, maintain business continuity, and preserve their reputation in the industry.
According to the United States Fire Administration, paying close attention to the following actions can save lives:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from the furnace, oil burner, wood stoves, water heaters, and other heat-generating equipment
- Keep oily rags in airtight containers and away from heat sources
- Trash should not be stored in the basement
- Washers and dryers should be plugged directly into wall outlets
- Check for damaged or overloaded electrical outlets, cords, and cables
- Keep anything that can burn away from electrical equipment
In the rest of the property:
- Never leave portable heating devices unattended
- Make sure smoke alarms and fire sprinklers are properly installed and working
- Post clear fire escape plans on every level of a building
- Teach employees about exit locations, escape routes, and fire protection equipment
These messages help increase awareness about dangerous basement and garage fires in your community.
Preventing fires in the workplace
In conclusion, implementing effective fire prevention measures in the workplace is crucial for employees’ safety, property protection, and overall business continuity. Property owners can mitigate risks, minimize disruptions, and ensure a safe working environment by prioritizing fire safety, adhering to regulations, and taking proactive steps.