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How to prevent or prepare for fires in five easy steps

by , 12 March 2015
How much time do you have to put out a fire in your workplace?


And that's why you need to make sure your employees are prepared!

Here are some vital rules you have to follow when it comes preparring for fires and have implementing a secure health and safety system.

Follow these fire safety steps to protect your workplace from disaster.

1. Consult your local fire chief and get advice on what fire-fighting equipment you need to have on site. (If you work in different locations, this is something you'll have to do for each project.)

At the same time,  ensure your fire extinguishers are in full working order. To do that make sure a person trained to see damage is appointed in writing to inspect them regularly for visual damage. They should also be inspected and serviced once a year by a competent person registered as a fire equipment technician (Construction Regulation 29(g), OHSA).

Once you've done that, move onto the next step.

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2. Make sure your fire-fighting equipment is easy to locate, clearly demarcated and accessible. Ensure your extinguisher is at a height that everyone can easily reach. Also, use two 4.5kg dry powder extinguishers instead of one 9kg extinguisher. Many people find it difficult to lift and use the heavier fire extinguisher.

3. Train all your employees so they know how to use the fire-fighting equipment that's in their area. It takes a fire less than 30 seconds to escalate and become serious so you can't just hope your fire-fighting team will get their in time.

You must also train employees so they know how to use other emergency and fire-fighting equipment such as fire hose reels (Construction Regulation 29(h)and (i), OHSA).

4. In addition to the previously mentioned rules, appoint someone (trained in emergency procedures) to take charge in case you're not able to put a fire out immediately.

The chosen person will decide if you need to evacuate and he will issue instructions for containing the fire until the fire department arrives.

5. As a final step, an effective health and safety system must appoint and train a fire team to assist the fire emergency supervisor to carry out his instructions.

Note that you should also appoint the fire team from staff members who are willing to take on this additional duty.

Don't let a fire destroy your company. Use these tips to create a fire fighting process that works.

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