Our safety consultants have identified some of the most effective ways to enhance fire safety in the workplace and protect employees.
Fire Safety in the Workplace - Don’t Get Burned!
Planning ahead and making strategic workplace changes to address fire hazards present, can go a long way in preventing fires, both workplace fires and wildfires. Our safety consultants have identified some of the most effective ways to enhance fire safety in the workplace and protect employees.
Fire-Proofing Your Workplace
First step is to conduct a safety audit. Work with a safety professional to conduct a facility audit that identifies hidden hazards, flammable materials, ignition sources, and accidents waiting to happen. Our certified safety consultants are experts on fire safety in the workplace and can perform an in-person or remote safety audit of your facilities.
Maintain the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and smoke alarms and learn how to properly use them. We offer in-person and online safety training courses that ensure your team is knowledgeable and prepared.
Place emergency first aid kits in all work areas and vehicles.
Properly maintain sprinkler systems and smoke detectors – Test of sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least annually.
Safely store and handle hazardous chemicals. Post signs and labels that correspond to the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet.
Throw out or recycle flammable and combustible materials so they don’t create or feed an existing fire emergency.
Prevent ignition by using non-sparking tools and anti-static matting around flammables and combustibles, especially around heat-producing equipment.
Protecting Employees from Wildfires
When wildfires are burning nearby, a little prevention can have a big impact on employee health and wellbeing for years to come. Here are some best practices for fire safety in the workplace when dealing with wildfires:
Reduce physical activity – especially outdoors.
For protection, wear a well-fitting PPE when outside. N95, KN95 and P100 respirators and flame-resistant clothing are recommended. Our in-person and online safety training courses ensure that your team is knowledgeable and prepared about PPE selection, fit testing and use.
Every morning, check your local air quality at airnow.gov or by listening to a NOAA radio.
In vehicles, set air intakes to “recirculate” and keep windows rolled up when possible. The closed windows will help keep out smoke.
Close the fresh air intake on your facility’s HVAC system. Set your HVAC system to recirculate and turn off any energy recovery ventilators and exhaust fans.
Replace HVAC filters often, preferably with pleated medium- or high-efficiency particle filters with a MERV 13 rating or higher. You can also add an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) to central air conditioning systems to lower indoor particulate levels.
Move employees to your most air-tight buildings and keep all windows and doors closed. Newer buildings are more air-tight and keep air pollution out more effectively.
Install a room or facility air cleaner to remove smoke, ash and air particulates. Air cleaners with a HEPA or ULPA filter (Ultra-Low Penetration Air) are most effective.
Set up a clean room with HEPA or ULPA filtration. Choose an interior room with no windows and doors leading outside.
Limit vacuuming, and only use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Keep floors and surfaces clean by damp mopping or dusting with a damp cloth.
In case you are unable to prevent an emergency, having an evacuation plan with fire exits in mind is critical. Above all, be safe, have an emergency plan, and don't get burned!
Learn More About Wildfires and Fire Safety in the Workplace
Top Resources on wildfire readiness and essential supplies to have on hand: