As a short, sharp, shock about danger in the workplace, one of the #Euroffice #FireMarshals shared a video she was shown during her #FireTraining course.
It’s a handheld video of a fire taking hold at a nightclub. (You may watch it here, but beware this video may be upsetting to some.)
A band is playing. A spark from their pyrotechnics sets the ceiling on fire. After 30 seconds, the area around the stage is alight. 4 minutes later, people are trapped in doorways, piling up as they’re trying to escape, screaming as they’re engulfed in volcanic-looking smoke.
Fire doesn’t care how it begins. It’s happy starting with overloaded plugs or a frayed wire. It’s as at home in a nightclub as it is in an office – that’s why Unite says there are 40,000 workplace fires each year.
Here are some #OfficeSafety tips from our fire marshal. We’ve also included some links to our #FireSafety products. Yes, they’re an investment, but your life and the lives of your co-workers are worth a lot more. Make sure you have them in your office.
1. Check expiry dates on all Fire Extinguishers.
2. Ensure you’ve got the right extinguishers in the right place (i.e. no water ones near electrical systems.) Using the wrong kind can make things worse.
3. Assemble a responsible team to promote and help with fire safety. An Air Horn and a Megaphone could bring order in the case of an emergency.
4. Section the building and allocate sections to each person.
5. Appoint a fire chief. They are responsible for grabbing the staff register, checking the fire alarm box for its location, and letting other marshals know in which direction to evacuate (always away from the source of the fire.) Make sure to get that person a Fire Warden / Marshal Vest.
6. Have processes and drills for different scenarios (fire by the front door, on stairs, in the office kitchen, by the back door etc.)
8. Have regular training days. Repeat: have regular training days.
9. Feedback to employees on the success of drills (should be under 2 min).
10. Reprimand anyone who stops to pick up belongings and saunters out like they are being inconvenienced. This costs lives in a real fire.
11. Get a Fire Officer to do a fire safety check on your building and your protocol. You should have Smoke Alarms installed.
12. Do random, unannounced, fire drills.
Remember, #FireSafety products are meant to buy you time. They won’t stop a serious fire from spreading. Your best chance to be safe is to be prepared and vigilant. And if you’re ever in doubt or worried about a fire, call the emergency services.