Burn Baby Burn, Business Inferno: Is Your Company At Risk Of Going Up In Smoke?
Every year, something on the order of $11 billion worth of damage is caused by fires, destroying the business aspirations and dreams of thousands. There are over 1.2 million fires in the US alone, and around 3,240 deaths associated with fire. The good news is that things are slowly improving. Since 2004, the number of fires has declined by 21.6 percent, the number of deaths by 21 percent and total losses by around 10.1 percent.
It’s all been made possible by innovations in the business sector to protect businesses from fire, and to prevent fires from starting in the first place. Here’s what to do.
Allocate A Designated Smoking Area
There’s a reason why companies have designated smoking areas. Smoking involves fire, and fire can kill. Always make sure that your smoking areas are well away from storerooms or chemical storage facilities. And ensure that there are fire extinguishers nearby, just in case a discarded cigarette butt starts a fire.
Keep On Top Of Maintenance
One of the biggest causes of fire in the US is poorly maintained machines, especially machines that gather dust and other material during their operation. Make sure that you’re regularly changing filters to remove a possible source of combustible material. And ensure that your machinery isn’t rubbing anywhere to avoid sparks from friction.
Keep Combustibles Locked Away
www.denios-us.com points out that it’s important to keep valuables locked up and away from fire. That’s why it’s a good idea for companies to prevent fire from destroying their bottom line by keeping valuables and flammables stored away, in non-combustible lockers.
Post Emergency Exit Diagrams
All exits should be marked with neon exit signs and be well lit, so that people can escape quickly in the event of a fire, according to www.safetycenter.org. All signs should be regulation, standard issue, to ensure that your business remains compliant and eligible for insurance.
Avoid All Sources Of Ignition
Many businesses work in potentially explosive atmospheres, especially when using petrochemicals or in environments with a lost of dust. In these situations, all tools should be chosen to minimize the risk of sparks. Companies should also use tools to control the buildup of static electricity, especially where there is a chance of ionization.
Use Sprinkler Systems
One of the biggest reasons why the costs of fire have fallen so dramatically is thanks to sprinkler systems. Make sure that you never block your sprinkler systems, and they are available to deliver water at a moment’s notice. It’s a good idea to make sure that your sprinklers have adequate clearance so that they can do their job, if a fire were to start. Make sure you test your sprinkler systems every year to ensure their operational efficacy.
Keep Control Panels Accessible
In the event of an emergency, you may need to shut off your equipment and power down your facility. This means that you have to have access to your control panel to be able to shut off the electricity supply. Keep the area around your control panel free from junk and clutter.