Fires in the office environment can result in serious harm to not only the business but also the employees. The risk of damaged, expensive electrical goods like computers, laptops and printers can lead to huge financial losses, not to mention the potential of costing lives. There are many things employers can do to diminish the risk of a fire and ensure that they are ready should the worst happen; regular fire drills, making sure all fire exit signs are clearly labelled with no obstructions and generally encouraging safe practices in the workplace.
On top of this, it's always good to be aware of the fire risks in your working environment so that you can monitor these risks and ensure they don't pose an immediate danger to employees. Outlined below are 3 of the most common fire risks in the office.
Furniture is of course an obvious one and poses a risk in even the most prepared office. Furnishings such as chairs, sofas and stools all have the potential to set alight if a fire was to start so it is advised to have a fire extinguisher located nearby so that you and your employees tackle any fire before it starts to spread.
While this risk cannot be completely removed from the office as a lot of these furnishings are necessary for visiting clients and workers alike, the risk of them igniting can be greatly reduced by making sure the office is kept clean and tidy. This means no more paper flying around the desks and all documents should be organised and safely placed in desktop trays.
Also, in order to diminish the risk even more, workers should take care when choosing to use flammable liquids and/or aerosols.
Almost every office nowadays has at least some form of technology and as nice as it is to be able to work on a computer or laptop instead of having to write everything out by hand, technology holds a great risk when it comes to starting fires. Like anything, over time these leads can grow worn and may begin to expose the wiring inside the cable. If you notice an exposed wire, you should be quick to replace it to reduce the risk of sparks.
Also, drinks at the desk are a huge risk. Typically speaking, the wires will be underneath the desks but if you spill a drink on an exposed wire you're in for a nasty shock so be sure to take care when you have liquids near electrical equipment.
Although laptops are great if you need to move around the office for meetings or just for comfort you should never leave a laptop on a soft surface for long periods of time. This is because of the fan located at the bottom of the device that helps to keep the laptop cool requires a small breathing space to be able to work properly. If this is blocked by a sofa or chair, it has the potential to overheat and cause serious damage.
In addition, before leaving the office there should be a routine check to see if everyone has switched off any computers and laptops to reduce the risk of a fire. Alongside laptops, computers also run the risk of overheating making it important that you keep all paper and other combustible items away from the main source of heat and the fan to prevent blockages.
These are just 3 common fire risks in the office. As you can see, most of them revolve around electrical equipment making it important that you keep all of your equipment in good condition and replace any broken or damaged items as soon as possible.
Here at Relko Group, we understand the devastation managers and employees alike go through following a fire and as a result, want to offer our fire and flood restoration services to help restore lost documents and get your business back on track. If you'd like to know more about what we can offer you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly customer service team today to find out more.