As we all know, fire is not a force to be trifled with. It can quickly cause damage to property and put human lives in danger. This rings particularly true in offices since professional spaces very often have plenty of electrical appliances that could malfunction, and where a lack of awareness can also contribute to the risk of fire, such as plugging too many devices into one outlet or using old wiring. So, how to make sure your workplace is as safe as possible? We could count fire extinguishers as the first line of defence in this case.
Know Your Space
When selecting a fire extinguisher for your office, it's important to consider your specific environment and the safety hazards that may exist. For instance, if your office is full of combustible materials like paper, plastic, or wood, you’re going to want to go for an extinguisher that uses foam, water, or dry chemical. If there is a lot of cooking with fats and oils involved, then a wet chemical agent extinguisher may be best. In offices with many electrical appliances, a fire could start due to a malfunction, so the most reliable option is an extinguisher that contains dry chemicals or carbon dioxide. Remember to turn off the power supply before using the extinguisher. For more detailed information, check out fire safety guides available on the Surrey Fire website.
It's critical to ensure that all employees know how to use a fire extinguisher. It’s not particularly difficult, but for obvious reasons, a vast majority of the population doesn’t know how to do that. The key here is the PASS method:
- P - Pull. Take the pin out to break the seal.
- A - Aim. Point the nozzle towards the base of the fire.
- S - Squeeze. Use the trigger to release the agent.
- S - Sweep. Move the nozzle from side to side to cover the base of the fire.
While it's essential to know how to use fire safety equipment, it's also important to have procedures in place for emergency situations. Conducting regular fire drills can help employees learn how to react calmly and follow evacuation procedures. If people know their escape routes and other procedures, it gives them a sense of reassurance and the necessary tools to ensure everyone's safety.
Let’s not forget about another piece of essential equipment that can help us identify and fight off the fire as soon as it happens – the alarm. Again, there are some different types available on the market – from wireless alarm systems and CO alarms, to smoke and heat detectors.
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