Uncategorized

Fire Safety: Common Hazards in the Workplace and How to Avoid Them

Why should we try to avoid fire accidents at all costs? Well, they can spread quickly and destroy everything in their path. Remember the major Bay Area fires in 2020? Those fires caused plenty of destruction and air pollution. So it would be in our best interests to always have fire alarm monitoring in the Bay Area. Better to be able to detect the fire early 

However, there is more than one way you can contribute to fire safety. How? Well, it would help if you knew the common fire hazards that can happen at work. Did you know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that there are over 25,000 fires in the workplace every year? That means if you know the hazards, you can prevent them from happening.

Here are common hazards from various workplaces that can start destructive fires.

Cooking

You know that saying, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen?” That just means there will always be heat in the kitchen – because there’s food being cooked! And wherever you’re cooking – whether you’re cooking professionally in a restaurant or you’re just cooking your office lunch, there’s always a risk of starting a fire. Cooking food is a primary cause, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Some common causes of kitchen fires include:

 

Cooking equipment: The heat of cooking equipment can cause the fat in the food to catch fire. And it’s not even because it’s faulty; it can just be because it’s hot, especially if the equipment is near various flammable materials.

Sparks from electrical outlets: It’s an infrequent occurrence, but the outlets in your kitchen you use to plug-in appliances or cables can cause electric sparks. These sparks can cause fires.

Cooking using grills: Cooking on the grill involves the use of an open flame. That flame can quickly get out of control.

Gas leaks: If someone leaves the stove open for a long time, then someone starts a fire to cook, an explosion can happen, leading to a powerful and destructive fire. 

Various electrical hazards

We’re using a lot of electrical equipment at work, so electrical-related hazards are always one thing you should watch out for. Older computers, for example, may not be in excellent condition and can become hot enough to cause fires. Old wires that are frayed because of use or rats chewing them can cause sparks when plugged in. 

Other electronic devices like cellphones and tablets are dangerous if you leave them on hot surfaces while charging. We’re sure you’ve read news stories about cellphones exploding – that’s because they overheated.

Smoking in flammable areas/Careless discarding of cigarette butts

Here’s another common work hazard. We’re sure plenty of you smoke, and that’s not a problem. The problem is when smokers forget to look for proper areas to smoke in. For example, you work in a gasoline station. Would you light up randomly in the middle of work? We don’t think so!

At the same time, even if you do go to an actual smoking area, there’s still the tiny problem of disposing of your cigarette butts. Do you actually put them out before getting rid of them? Or do you just take one last drag and throw them away without noticing where they land? If it’s the latter, that might be the cause one day of a major fire.

Lit candles

You might be working in spas or other relaxation areas where candles are regularly used. While candles are relaxing, they can also be fire hazards if you forget to put them out once you’re done. They may be small but they can easily start fires.

Construction site hazards

Construction sites are like kitchens: there are many opportunities for fires to break out. Why? Well, think about it: construction sites have plenty of electric-related equipment that, therefore, can cause sparks. Construction work also involves plenty of chemicals that are flammable, such as paint or sealants. One wrong move and these chemicals can burst into flames.

Dust buildup can also be another reason for a fire to occur in sites.  Dust is usually not a problem, but combustible dust is a different story. Expose them to heat, static electricity, or friction, and they will readily catch fire and even explode.  

How to avoid work-related fires

Now that you know some workplace occurrences that can cause fires, what can you do to prevent them? Well, the fact that you’re reading this is good already. You want to be aware of minor and major fire risks in the workplace, and you want to be ready. Now, if you believe your workplace might be at risk for a fire, you must take appropriate actions to prevent these fires, such as: 

  • Look for any fire hazards on and around your workplace. Do you notice things like overheated or malfunctioning electrical equipment? Do employees regularly leave smoldering cigarettes in their work areas? Make sure to call the attention of employees or the maintenance people to do something about those problems.
  • Make sure to buy equipment that will prevent fires, such as fire alarms and fire extinguishers. Be sure your equipment is in working order in case anything goes wrong. In fact, it’s best to get some Bay Area fire alarm inspection experts to make sure all your equipment is working correctly.
  • Keep track of flammable materials in your workplace, especially if you’re working in the kitchen or onsite. Are they stored near anything that can quickly spark a flame? If yes, best to move them to safer parts of your workplace. And the same goes for materials that need to be disposed of. Put them all in one area, away from anything that can cause them to flare up.
  • Always inspect electrical equipment. Wires can easily become hot enough to cause intense fires. Be careful around electrical outlets and keep your eyes on them to ensure they’re not tampered with or frayed. Use surge protection for wiring and open electrical boxes to avoid overloading the circuits. Be wary of plugging in hair dryers or hair curlers near a power source, as these devices can cause a fire if they’re accidentally plugged into an outlet. If there are cuts in wires, cover them up with electric tape.
  • Make it part of your protocol to turn off things that cause fire, especially if they are not needed. Regularly do double inspections of stoves, candles, and other sources of fire.

Get Bay Area fire protection services – hire Fire Alarm Testing Inc.

Even if you do your best to prevent fires, the best way to go about it is still to hire professionals. And if you’re looking for Bay Area’s best fire alarm inspectors, look no further than us here at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. We are the best fire alarm testing company in Bay Area, CA. Part of our services is to ensure that your fire alarms and other fire prevention equipment are working correctly. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for Bay Area fire alarm inspection and testing services. Let’s work together to keep your workplace safe from fires.