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Fire safety tips for the workplace

4th February 2014 Print
Fire safety

In order for any fire to start, it first needs three elements, namely oxygen, a combustible material and a heat source. In a commercial environment these components are often readily to hand. Fires in the workplace are not uncommon, however by following these simple safety tips the risk can be greatly reduced.

Clean and Tidy

All areas need to be kept free of any rubbish, while items such as paper and cardboard, should be stored in designated areas and not just left lying around. All flammable liquids should be kept in appropriate containers that are labelled with details of the contents they contain. Direct access to emergency fire exits should always be available.

Safety Equipment 

Everyone should be familiar with how all fire safety equipment actually works. This will include items such as fire blankets, extinguishers as well as the manual activation of the fire alarm. Sprinklers and other fire fighting equipment should also be serviced annually. 

Electrical Equipment

All electrical outlets should be checked on a regular basis, and should not be overloaded. Any faulty appliance should be reported immediately, and repaired only by a qualified electrician. Control panels should be able to be reached easily, so that they can be shut down in an emergency.


In areas where machinery is housed, adequate ventilation should be provided at all times to avoid the equipment overheating. These areas should always be clear of any obstructions, and care taken to avoid dangling cables becoming a potential hazard. Any oily cloths should be kept in a metal container, and when no longer needed, disposed of safely. 


When chemicals are used in the workplace, company procedures regarding their use must be strictly adhered to. Extreme care should be taken to prevent any ignition of flammable gases, from electrical sparks or static energy. Naked flames should never be used in these areas.


Smoking should only take place in the designated area. Cigarettes need to be put out, and disposed of in the allocated bin. Cigarettes not properly extinguished can often be the cause of fires.

Disposing of rubbish and other materials

Keeping a building clean and tidy can greatly reduce the risk of a fire. However, rubbish and other combustible materials also need to be disposed of in a safe way. If possible, it should be stacked in a separate lockable area, away from the building. 

Fire Safety Policy

Carrying out practice evacuations will help to ensure that people know what to do in the event of a real fire. If a fire does start, always sound the fire alarm to alert other people. If it's safe to do so, try to put out a small blaze with the appropriate fire extinguisher, or smother the flame with a fire blanket. However, always have a clear view of an escape route. If evacuating the building, turn off any machinery on the way out if possible.

By following these simple tips, the chances of a fire breaking out in the workplace can be greatly deceased.

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