A quick look around the office on any given day probably isn’t going to reveal many immediate threats in terms of fires. After all, it’s been some time since we smoked in our offices, and piles of constantly growing paperwork is also becoming a thing of the past. However, there are actually a high number of other hazards that are either easy to forget, or difficult to see.
Don’t expect excellent safety from your electrics
Although paperwork may be on the wane, electrical appliances are certainly not. Alongside the office regulars of telephones, photocopiers and computers, you may also have a vast number of mobile phones or tablets charging at any given time that weren’t there 20 years ago. However, that’s not to say that your sockets and electrical wiring haven’t been there for much, much longer. According to YeeGroup, electrical negligence is the number one cause of office fires – so be sure to have yours tested on a regular basis.
Don’t underestimate the materials of your building
Again, as so many offices up and down the country have been occupied, albeit perhaps by various businesses, for some time, there may be materials within the building that are more prone to fire than others. As highlighted by FireEngineering.com, the technology in building and roofing materials has constantly evolved to prefer materials that stand a reduced chance of being ignited. If during a fire safety assessment, a substandard material is identified, it’s probably time to upgrade. Find a reliable building and roofing company, such as Findley – a roofer, Sunderland. This company works across the North East and will help you choose the right materials for your soon-to-be modernised building.
Don’t neglect your fire and smoke alarms
It’s easy, even in the home environment, to forget to test the alarms on a regular basis. In an office, this susceptibility to sloppy safety standards can be magnified. More people who could test them, can often equate to more people who forget to do so. Ensure that your alarms are tested at least as often as the manufacturer recommends, and in line with on-site and national regulations, ensuring that in the event of a fire – you will know about it immediately.
Don’t disregard your storage solutions
Another simple thing that’s easy to lose track of, especially in busy offices, is how and where materials are stored. The dreaded paper, again, can be an issue, but so can the boxes that paper reams are sent in, not to mention the many other boxes that comes through the office doors every week. Ensure that anything that could be a source of fuel for a fire is stored away from heat sources, such as lights and lamps, and far away from anything flammable that could ignite. It sounds simple, and is – but it’s another one of those dangerously simple things that can go wrong!
Don’t leave the dusting until last
It’s incredible the amount of dust that can gather in a busy office. Often unseen, being gently ushered under desks and drawers by draughts, it can quickly accumulate to become a profound fire hazard. If dust gathers around electric sockets and hot equipment, such as computer stations, it could only take a single spark to turn the tiny, dirty tumbleweed into the first flames of a destructive fire. Take a little time, at least once every week, to ensure that your own workstation is dusted down and clear of debris, and you’ll be one step closer to a less hazardous office environment.