Fire Prevention Month: 5 Safety Tips

 October 16, 2019     UFG Insurance    Business 

October is National Fire Prevention month. To help raise awareness for fire prevention and to keep you and others safe, we've come up with a list of 5 simple safety tips you can implement into your workplace or at home.

1. Maintain fire prevention systems

While it might seem obvious, it's essential that your business not only understands the importance of installing working smoke alarms on every level of your building, but that you should test them every month. When choosing the right smoke alarm system, it's best to choose one that can be interconnected, so when one alarm sounds, they all sound.

In addition to smoke alarms, your company should also look into installing sprinkler systems. Sprinkler systems not only protect over 99% of buildings from fire damage, they also prevent additional damage from occurring. After they are installed, you should establish a regular routine to check them for potential maintenance that might need to be performed.

2. Don't forget your fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers may work effectively at putting out smaller fires and preventing them from turning into larger fires, but they can't do this if they're hidden in a closet and nobody knows where they are. In order for them to be practical, put them in a location that is visible, easily accessible, and let multiple people in the office know where they're located and how they're operated. Like your other fire prevention systems, they also need to be annually inspected by a qualified professional, and any old or expired extinguishers need to be replaced.

3. Be aware of overloaded circuits and extension cords

One thing companies aren't lacking are cords. Between computers, extra monitors, phones, and employee devices, outlets can become crowded as everything works to fit. With this added workload, overheating may become a major problem. When using any outlet, check the fit of the plug in the outlet to help avoid loose electrical connections. A poor connection may cause overheating and quickly spark a fire. Also, avoid placing cords or wires under rugs or in high traffic areas.

4. Keep your space clean

Not only can a crowded and cluttered space add fuel to the fire (literally), but it could become hazardous for employees trying to evacuate the building once the fire alarms go off. From being a potential trip hazard and blocking emergency exits, to creating extra flammable material that helps a fire spread, not having a clean space could end up seriously hurting somebody.

Don't forget your break room! Along with making sure that space is kept clean, double check that all appliances are positioned to let air circulate properly and keep them cool.

5. Create a fire evacuation plan

While you want to make practicing fire prevention a top priority, it's crucial that you have a plan in place if the worst might happen. Make sure that every member of your team is aware of the plan, that you have multiple exits depending on where they're located within the office, and that you designate an outside meeting space that's a safe distance away from your building. To help make this happen, assign a trusted employee the role of safety officer to help keep the plan and all your safety efforts up-to-date. More importantly, make sure you practice. You never know when a fire might spark and if there is an emergency, everyone should know their role, what they need to do, and where they need to go.

Did you know?

Every 24 seconds a fire department in the United States responds to an alarm and every 88 seconds a home fire occurs, according to the Insurance Information Institute

While following these safety tips can help prevent fires in your home or office, it's important that you have proper insurance in case the unthinkable were to happen.

Contact UFG and ask about getting your insurance quote today.

The information provided is for informational purposes only. Every attempt is made to ensure that the information is accurate; however, it is not intended to replace professional advice. For more information, see Disclaimers & Other Legal Documents.