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If you're making this fire safety mistake, your desk could burst into flames!

by , 26 July 2013
Fire in the workplace seems impossible - a disaster disturbing your everyday life is just unimaginable. But did you know that the computer you're working on may be a fire hazard? Or the kitchen where you make your coffee? Here's the big fire safety mistake you must never make...

Fires are always in the news.

Just last Wednesday, a huge fireball erupted off the coast of New Orleans when a drilling rig burst into flames, reports the Huffington Post.

But even if you're in an office most of the day, there are fire hazards all around you…

Heat, fuel and oxygen are a deadly fire safety mix

According to the Health and Safety Advisor, the three ingredients of a fire are heat, fuel and oxygen.

Oxygen is obviously the most common of the three, since it's in the air we breathe.

But if you've got a computer on your desk as well as a pile of papers, guess what? You've got a recipe for a fire.

Fire safety rule of thumb: Keep fuel and heat separate

You wouldn't stack papers on top of the stove, would you? If the stove got hot enough the papers would catch fire. The paper is the fuel and the stove is giving off heat, so it's an obvious combination that spells out fire danger.

So why are you doing this on your desk?

Cables emit heat and if damaged can emit sparks. Keep files and folders (fuel) far from cables and plugs (heat).

Computer monitors and motherboards make plenty of heat. You should you keep stacks of paper away from heat-emitting computer parts. You should also maintain your computers regularly because the dust that gathers on fans can also be a fire hazard.

In the kitchen, you must keep cloths, tissues and towels far from toasters, hot-plates and sandwich presses.

By never putting sources of fuel and sources of heat together, you'll have a safe and comfortable work environment.

Turn to chapter  F04 of your Health and Safety Advisor to get the laws and rules you need to apply when using and storing flammable liquids.

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