Never assume that your office could never suffer a fire simply because you don’t store hazardous materials or work with open flames in your office kitchen. While office fires are not normal, they do happen and they can spread easily. This can result in extreme property damage and even grave physical injuries and loss of life. It can be easy to prevent fires in the office and ensure the safety of your staff with just a few simple tips that anyone can employ. Consider the following for your office.
1. Provide a designated smoking area
It’s good to ensure that smokers stay a certain distance from the building in order to prevent anyone from lighting up while inside and possibly discarding a flaming match in a wastebasket. Choose a designated smoking area that is away from the building entrance and which provides proper receptacles for cigarettes, ashes, and matches. Enforce your policy strictly with your staff; do not allow them to get closer to the entrance than that designated area and if necessary, monitor anyone who tosses out cigarette butts onto the pavement or in regular trash cans. If these are not properly extinguished, they can cause fires on the lawn or in a wastebasket.
2. Have the furnace and ductwork serviced
You may know that keeping your furnace clean and with a new air filter at home can prevent fires, and the same is true in the office. If the ductwork is very dusty and dirty, this can pose a fire hazard as dust and lint can be flammable when it gets too hot. Dust and lint settled into metal ductwork may increase the risk of a fire in the office, so have the vents cleaned every year and replace the air filter in the furnace as well.
3. Check the equipment and plugs in the kitchen
You may not have a commercial kitchen in your office, but the small kitchen your staff uses can still pose a fire hazard. Note how old the microwave is and if any of your staff have complained about sparks or other problems when using it, and check the wall outlets to see if they’re overloaded. It may not be unusual for staff to plug in a coffeemaker, microwave, and other such appliances into one plug and, in turn, this can cause an electrical overload and an increased risk for fire. Have the refrigerator coils vacuumed and cleaned regularly so the motor doesn’t overheat and cause sparks.
Simple preventative tips like these can keep your office kitchen safe from a fire risk. Also make sure to keep fire equipment on hand, such as fire extinguishers, so contact local fire equipment supplies, like Action Fire Extinguishers Pty Ltd, to discuss your needs and options.