As an owner or occupier, responsibility for prevention, suppression and evacuation lies with you, so it’s vital that all staff are educated in the things they can do to help reduce the dangers around offices, warehouses, public areas and storage spaces. Sometimes home inspection services might be necessary to help you prevent any damages in your home. With Lawrenceville Home Inspection, they will definitely assist you to focus on the things you need to maintain properly in your house to prevent future damages that you might encounter.
In this quick guide, we’ve provided a quick overview of the most common hazards in the workplace. For more in-depth guidance – or to book a full fire risk assessment – please contact one of our experts.
- Dust build-up
Dust isn’t commonly seen as a hazardous substance, and so is often treated as an inconvenience rather than a danger. However, combustible dust can easily catch fire and explode if exposed to heat, static electricity, friction or naked flames.
- Flammable liquids and vapours
Explosions and fast-spreading fires can be caused and accelerated by spillages and careless storage, so always make sure your containers are properly sealed and kept away from potential sources of ignition. If something is knocked over or spilled, clean it up immediately using appropriate methods and always follow manufacturer instructions.
- Blocked fire exits
It’s vital that you have clear access to, and through, all fire exits. Equipment, packaging and personal belongings have a habit of being left in the way of doors and in thoroughfares where they could block evacuation in the event of a fire.
- Open or damaged fire doors
Interior fire doors are designed to stop fire in its tracks – but often they are left open for ‘fresh air’, or because there’s a fault with their spring hinges and/or latches.
If there is a fault with your door, it’s equally important to seek expert advice on a fix. Even if your doors are always shut, you still need to check the seals, make sure there are no gaps between door and wall, and ensure hinges are fit for purpose.
- Heat-generating equipment & machinery
Faulty electrical equipment is one of the most common workplace fire hazards. Loose cabling is a no-no, as are damaged plugs – so regular detangling is a must, along with regular condition checks. All electrical equipment should be regularly checked and PAT tested by an expert.
Overloaded plugs are a common fire hazard, but one of the easiest to prevent. If too many items are plugged into a socket or extension cable, overheating can quickly start a fire – which can soon get out of control with many sockets usually placed under or near desks which hold lots of paper as well as combustible electrical items.
- Untested fire alarms
Fire alarms only help to keep your people and premises safe if they’re in full working order. Having a fire alarm system installed is great, but is no use whatsoever if they don’t work or the batteries have run out. Having a maintenance schedule and contract in place for your fire alarm system will ensure it works when you need it most.
- Inadequate smoking provisions
Many fires are started by cigarettes that have not been put out properly. If smoking is allowed on your premises, ensure your smoking areas are situated away from main buildings and areas where rubbish and chemicals might be stored – and of course, any structures should be non-flammable and compliant with regulations.
Smoking bins should be provided in all designated smoking areas, and it’s a good idea to educate and remind employees of the dangers of smoking – place posters around your site to send out the message that cigarettes must be properly put out and disposed of.