According to a survey conducted by FICCI’s India Risk Survey 2017, fires are rated as the 5th largest risk to the Indian businesses. Fire-related incidents were reported from major sectors like railways, defense, industries, city centers, logistics domain and also during festivals.
According to the report, the major causes of industrial fires are:
- Non-compliance of safety norms and non-renewal of safety licenses
- Poor infrastructure with obsolete fire safety equipment
- Lack of preparation including non-upgradation of skills by firemen
What are the other causes of fires at offices or a workplace?
There are many other things that could cause fire accidents in industries, which are,
- Stocking of combustible dust and flammable liquids and gasses
- Faulty equipment and heating
- Electrical fire due to short circuit
Preparing Your Employees For Fire Safety Plan
Accidental outbreaks of fire can cause a serious damage to life as well as assets. Ensuring a fail-proof plan especially in a workplace is important for employees as well as employers. It is also a norm that every workplace has adequate measures to deal with fires and to protect workers. But do you think all working places have proper security measures for fighting the fire and are our employees fully prepared for it?
According to the laws, it is important for every employer to assess the risks posed by accidental fires and make a proper plan to reduce or eliminate the risks caused due to fire. It is also mandatory to make sure that all the employees are aware of the emergency fire safety plan and have adequate training to respond to in any such situation.
How To Prepare Your Employees For Fire Safety Plan?
If a fire breaks out in a workplace, the topmost priority must be to safely evacuate everyone out of the affected premises. In order to ensure that your employees know how to respond, it is important that they receive proper training for it. People must be trained so that they do not panic in such dangerous situations.
The training for a fire safety plan must involve following points:
- Necessary steps the employees must take when they hear the fire alarm.
- Training should include teaching employees about the functioning of different fire safety equipment such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire safety kits and other required materials.
- Employees must be aware of the emergency fire exits one must use in the case of a fire breakout.
- It must be taught that one must never use elevators during a fire as they can fail and leave one stuck without an exit. This has proved fatal in many accidents
- The training must involve teaching employees to assemble at a defined assembly area after exiting the area which is affected by a fire.
Fire safety training can prove helpful in not only saving the life during a fire breakout but can also be helpful in containing the fire on the premises so as to minimize the damage.
Importance of Fire Safety Drill in Workplace
It is a human tendency that we often panic during life-threatening situations like fire. Through proper training, we can improve our reaction to the benefit of ourselves and the people surrounding us.
Fire safety drills in the workplace can prove to be of great benefit for all the people working there. If every employee knows how to respond in an emergency situation and what steps must be taken to safely evacuate everyone, it can be quite helpful for minimizing the damage caused.
Regular fire drills involving providing practical knowledge about the safe evacuation procedures must be carried out at least once a year. Through the drills, the effectiveness of escape routes can also be assessed.
The more your employees are familiar with the steps one must follow during an accidental fire, the more are chances of eliminating the damage caused due to fire. Moreover, it is the legal duty of every employer to organize a fire safety drill for employees once a year.
Work Place & Industrial Fire Safety Guidelines
Fire can happen anywhere and anytime. The best way to avoid losses due to fire accidents is by preventing it. Here are some measures that would ensure fire safety in the workplace:
1. Compliance with the law: The premises must be compliant with NBC guidelines that many states follow
2. Fire Safety Audit: Companies should ensure periodical fire safety audit of all the fire safety equipment and system. There are numerous things that have to be checked during fire safety audit. It should be ensured that
a) The fire alarms are always working
b) The emergency exits are always open and easy to open
c) Emergency lighting is in place
d) Fire exits are visible and at the right place. If there is any fault in the system, it should be recorded. To ensure fire safety, such audits should be carried out at regular intervals
3. Drills and Training: Conducting mock drills with employees helps them to be aware of and importantly alert. It should make them respond to the fire situations quickly
4. Evacuation plan: All buildings must have an evacuation plan. Employers should ensure that,
a) All escape routes are clear without any clutter
b) All fire exits are clearly marked.
c) There are enough exits to safely evacuate all people inside the premises
d) A safe meeting point for all the staff
e) Fire exits are differently abled friendly
Some important tips for fire safety in the workplace:
1. Learn to use a fire extinguisher.
2. Educate all staff on fire safety and be aware of the fire station near your premises. Post stickers on emergency numbers.
3. Never block the fire exits, sprinklers or any fire equipment.
4. Prohibit smoking in storerooms and ensure there is a separate smoking zone
5. Practice good housekeeping in order to avoid proper disposal of waste
6. Ensure the machinery is properly maintained to avoid overheating
7. Report electrical hazards and attend to any malfunctioning machinery quickly.
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Workplace Fire Safety Checklist