Help Prevent Workplace
Fire! The word is a scary one because fires are very frightening.
In our workplace, management has done its best to eliminate
fire hazards and to protect life and property if a fire should
break out. But the company also relies on each one of you
each day to help prevent a company fire disaster. Here are
some ways in which you can do your part.
The Worst Case
Let's begin at the end, with the most important
warning of all: if there is a fire, pull the fire alarm nearest
you and exit the building. Do not take an elevator if you
are on an upper floor, but leave by using a stairway. Elevators
will usually cease to operate during a fire, and many people
who have tried to flee by elevator have died from heat, smoke,
and deadly gases.
Right now, today, locate at least two exits close
to your work area. Learn them so well that you can reach
them in the dark. In fact, the smoke from a fire may be so
thick that no one will be able to see the route to the exit.
In the event of a serious fire, remember, you will have to
crawl on your hands and knees to an exit in order to find
breathable air and to escape some of the heat.
Prevention is the 'Cure'
But if you and your co-workers are careful and
understand how fires start, it should never come to that.
You can stop a fire by not causing one. Preventing fires
begins with following safe storage practices, as they are
set out in company safety rules. For instance, flammable
liquids must be put back in their assigned place, never in
a more convenient spot to be returned for safekeeping later
on. Later on may never come. Store them where they belong
The same rule holds true for oil- or solvent-soaked
rags. Don't just drop them where you are when you stop working;
place those rags in the proper metal container with a self-closing
And whatever hazards are around-and there are
bound to be some in a normal, active workplace-remember to
follow the smoking rules exactly as set forth by the company.
If you think "Oh, it doesn't matter as long as no one's around
to see me," you are mistaken-and it may be your last mistake.
Fires are also caused by carelessness with electrical
appliances. If you plug something in and it smells as though
it may be starting to burn, disconnect the unit at once and
report a malfunction. Every time you prepare to plug in a
tool or machine, check the cord. If a cord is cracked or
frayed, don't use the tool or machine-turn it in or report
it for repair instead.
More fires start during winter than at any other
time of year. This is because heaters are often used in an
unsafe manner. Make sure that any heater used in your workplace
is away from flammable materials and cannot tip over. Keep
the heater out of walkways. Don't leave the workplace after
your shift and forget the heater. Don't just turn it off,
either, but pull the plug so that it won't go on automatically
when no one is there. Let the next shift plug the heater
in themselves so that they realize
it is on and has to be watched.
Don't forget to keep aisles and exits free
of obstructions. If a fire does occur, you must be able to
get out quickly without falling over boxes and machinery.
Also, keep doors to enclosed stairways closed-even though
it may seem to be a nuisance. An open door can cause extra
danger during a fire, letting smoke into the stairwell and
making it difficult to escape.