As Christmas nears, offices all around the UK are preparing to hang their decorations and illuminate the workplace with twinkling lights. This is all well and good, but it is important to remember health and safety when it comes to winter and Christmas décor, especially with regards to potential fire hazards.
Although there are fire and flood restoration services available, prevention is always better than the cure. Following the correct procedures is the best way to prevent a fire and ensure a safer festive season.
So in the spirit of a safer Christmas, let’s take a look at just three winter fire hazards in the office, and how they can be avoided.
As the temperature drops, you will find that members of the team will want to bring in small, portable electric heaters. Whilst the verdict on these heaters is ultimately down to you, it is important that your employees understand what to do to avoid a fire.
As these heaters can get quite hot, they should never be placed near flammable materials. Also, if an employee comes in soaked to the bone, popping their coat on the electric heater for an hour or two isn’t an option. Covering these heaters is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
In addition, electric or portable heaters should be kept away from exits. In the event of a fire, you need the exits to be clear and easily accessible, so creating an obstruction is out of the question.
It is not truly Christmas until the tree has been put up and decorated. However, there are a few things to bear in mind before you start adding baubles and tinsel. Firstly, like electric heaters, Christmas trees should never obstruct an exit. Such an obstruction is dangerous, and in the event of a fire can cause serious damage to the office interior as well as harm employee health.
Also, if your office has a real tree this year, ensure it is frequently watered. Dry leaves can be more of a fire risk than moist foliage.
Lastly, you should never overload your tree with lights. As Christmas lights can become quite hot, it is best to limit this form of decoration to stay safe.
Plug Sockets and Outlets
When it comes to the office, Relko's final winter fire hazard is the overloading of plug sockets and outlets. Though we all like to embellish our offices with Christmassy goods, overloading sockets and outlets is not a good idea, especially if you already have a lot of electrical equipment in use.
To stay safe, limit the amount of Christmas goods you use this year or opt for battery-operated decorations instead. This will help to prevent outlets overheating and potentially causing a fire.
These are just three winter fire hazards in the office. Do you have any more tips you’d like to share with our readers?