Five things you can do for workplace fire safety

Issue 2 2022 Fire & Safety

Any responsible business owner or office manager should be concerned about things potentially going wrong when it comes to workplace fire safety and whether or not there are enough preventative measures to avoid this from becoming a reality. When it comes to fires and workplace safety, there are five simple steps to take today that could make a major difference tomorrow.

“Preventing a small flame from becoming a bigger one and potentially burning down your office or factory involves important change behaviour on the part of your staff or colleagues. It also demands crucial investment in firefighting equipment,” says Andrew Worthington, general manager: Fidelity Fire Solutions, a division of the Fidelity Services Group.

He suggests these steps that could be taken:

• Keep it clean and neat. Any workspace that is cluttered or untidy, could play a big part in the ignition of or the rapid spread of fires. Don’t leave boxes or pieces of combustible equipment standing around, but rather remove them to a safe storage room. Uncluttered floor spaces also make it easier to evacuate the building in case of an emergency.

• Check your equipment. Fire alarms and smoke detectors are vital tools in the early detection of smoke or flames. By having the right equipment for your specific needs, you can reduce the risks of losing it all in a blaze. Speak to a specialist service provider, who can advise you on fire extinguishers, detection and gas suppression systems and even sprinkler systems. This includes the regular maintenance of whatever equipment you have installed.

• Assess the risks. It is impossible to plan for something if you don’t first properly determine what the risks are that you are dealing with. There are professional service providers who can visit your office or factory and give you specialist advice on what specific risks you face and how to address them. Remember that risks and circumstances change, which means an assessment should be completed on a regular basis.

• Train the team. Any effective fire prevention plan also requires the active involvement of your team members. In bigger organisations, companies have chosen to appoint 'fire wardens' who take responsibility for their area or department. They can safely escort their colleagues out of the building during an evacuation. Smaller organisations can also spend time by demonstrating to their personnel what to do and how to respond if a fire does occur and teaching them what to do to help prevent a fire.

• Don’t neglect anything electrical. Any office or workplace that makes use of electricity must be sure that all cables and wires are safe. Overloaded plug points can overheat and lead to electrical sparks, which often can lead to a fire that destroys the entire building.

“If you have any questions about the fire readiness of your buildings and premises, the best thing you can do today is to speak to a fire specialist. Ask as many questions as you need to, to help ensure the safety of your colleagues, the protection of your assets and customer safety,” says Worthington.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

How to prevent and survive fires
Fire & Safety Security Services & Risk Management
Since its launch in August 2023, Fidelity SecureFire, a division of the Fidelity Services Group, has been making significant strides in revolutionising fire response services in South Africa.

Spate of Joburg fires calls for proactive fire-safety planning
Fire & Safety
The incident of fire that occurred recently in Johannesburg's Central Business District (CBD) has brought to light the criticality of performance-based fire safety systems. It is imperative to design safety systems that are efficient and effective in managing such unforeseen events.

Beagle Watch adds fire to its portfolio
Editor's Choice Fire & Safety News & Events
Beagle Watch Armed Response and FIRE OPS SA announced the enhancement of the two companies' combined service offerings to provide professional fire safety services to Beagle Watch clients and Johannesburg residents.

Different types of fires
Fire & Safety
Fire is a powerful force of nature; according to SafeQuip, a distributor of fire-related equipment; understanding the different types of fires and how to combat them is essential for safety and protection.

SafeQuip introduces lithium fire extinguishers
Fire & Safety Products & Solutions
With the use of Lithium batteries increasing in many types of portable devices and battery storage solutions, SafeQuip, in partnership with AVD Lithex, is introducing a fire extinguisher aimed at suppressing and extinguishing, and also preventing re-ignition of lithium fires.

Modern warehouses come with added fire risk
Fire & Safety Transport (Industry)
Along with increased investments in modern warehousing in Africa, there is also a need to focus on protecting warehouses from crime, however, fire can arguably be a greater danger to business continuity.

How to prevent solar inverter short-circuits and fires
Fire & Safety
With many South Africans installing inverters as part of solar power systems to mitigate the impact of load shedding in homes and at businesses, users need to be aware of the potential fire risks.

Fidelity SecureFire steps into critical fire response space
News & Events Fire & Safety
With the majority of fire stations around the country being crippled by a lack of resources to offer effective responses, Fidelity Fire Solutions has launched its own ‘first responder’ model, Fidelity SecureFire.

Long-distance connectivity with Simplex ES Net Life Safety
Johnson Controls Global Products Fire & Safety Products & Solutions
ES Net Network Bridge allows fire alarm system data to be transmitted across distant buildings via a customer’s existing network infrastructure, improving system-wide monitoring and control in facilities and campuses where life safety networks are often widely dispersed.

Elvey Group and Technoswitch part ways
Elvey Security Technologies Fire & Safety News & Events
The Elvey Group (a division of the Hudaco Group of Companies) is relinquishing its distributorship of the Technoswitch brand, following Hudaco’s acquisition of Brigit Fire.