The Four Essential Components of Workplace Fire Safety Training Programs

While it’s true that manufacturers and industrial facilities have a greater fire risk, the reality is that any kind of business can experience a fire in the workplace. Because of that, it’s important that your employees are safe and protected from fire hazards, and training them on how to handle themselves in that kind of situation should be a priority for any business owner.

While the stakes are certainly higher when it comes to fire – fire safety is like anything else. The more you’re trained and the more ready you are – the safer you’ll be in the event they actually occur. That being said – there are lots of fire safety companies out there who teach things in a variety of ways – so what’re the things you should look for in a fire safety program? That’s what we’re here to discuss today. 

Here are the four key components that any good workplace fire safety program should have.

Recognizing Hazards

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times – fire prevention is the best way to combat the threat of real fires occurring. Teaching employees to identify potential hazards before they become actual threats is paramount to any workplace fire safety program. 

If there’s heat, a source of ignition, flammable materials, fuel, and the like; employees need to understand the potential for a fire that these things represent. If your employees can recognize situations where they’re working with these things or observe them being used in a way and manner that they shouldn’t be – you’ll prevent a lot of fires from starting in the first place. 

What To Do If There’s A Fire

The next logical step is understanding what they need to do if there’s a fire. There should be a clear-cut chain of command in the event of a fire alarm as well as a thorough once-over as to how fire alarm and fire suppression systems work. Employees should all know how to activate a fire alarm and how to call 911. 

Knowing gives your employee the base knowledge they need in order to react to a situation. They’ll know how to let people know there’s a fire, how to call for help, and who to listen to and seek out. 

Responding Properly To The Fire

Outside of what we talked about, how should employees respond to a fire? This is where things can get ambiguous because some of it depends on the workplace you’re in and the severity and location of the fire. But regardless of that, there are some must-have ingredients in your training. Things like:

  • Your company’s evacuation plan
  • Your employee’s specific roles in executing that plan
  • How to leave the building
  • What to do as they leave the building
  • Where to regroup
  • And what to do if they encounter fire, heat, or smoke as they leave the building.

By covering these things, you can rest assured that your employees will be as prepared as possible. No one wants to think about a fire happening in your building, but if it does – it’s vital that everyone knows exactly what to do. 

Using Fire Extinguishers

The last essential ingredient of a workplace fire safety program is fire extinguisher education. It’s vital to teach employees how to use extinguishers properly. In addition, they’ll be taught about the limitations of these devices, how long they should try to use the device, and when they should flee and escape to safety. No workplace is worth losing someone’s life. 

Understanding when to walk away from a fire is as important as knowing how to fight one. By investing in this aspect of your employees’ training, they’ll be better prepared to be able to respond to fire calmly, safely, and effectively. 

If you would like more information on this or any fire and life safety issue, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety. Stay safe and healthy.

Common Causes of Industrial Fires

Every few years, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) releases reports on the different kinds of fires that started in the United States over a given period of time. In the last four years, there were over 37,000 fires at industrial facilities to the tune of almost $1.2 billion in actual property damage, and at the cost of 16 lives and nearly 300 people injured. 

Industrial fires are serious business – and anyone dealing with an industrial business needs to take fire safety seriously. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the different kinds of fires you’ll commonly encounter in an industrial facility and discuss some of the ways you can prevent them. Let’s jump right in!

Dust Fires

In most industrial settings, combustible dust is a common thing you’ll have to deal with. Even when particles and materials aren’t considered flammable, they can be combustible when mixed in with other elements in a specific concentration. 

When these particles explode- they first cause particles to become airborne and then the cloud from the dust can create a secondary explosion that’s even worse than the first one. Given the right conditions, combustible dust explosions can level an entire facility. 

Preventing these fires is a considerable priority for most industrial businesses and having a hazardous dust inspection, ongoing testing, and cleaning program is a must. Never leave dust residues out in the open and clean them up whenever you can using the proper collection systems. And above all else, make sure there’s no smoking, open flames, or sparks of any kind. 

Liquid and Gas Fires

The most common kind of fire in chemical plants is flammable liquid and gas fires. They can ignite from a whole bunch of sources and sparks – and can be particularly difficult to contain if you don’t have the proper equipment. 

Every industrial business should be aware of the hazards that each flammable liquid and gas present to a business. Make sure employees read and follow the information provided in safety data sheets and manuals and make sure any materials are stored according to OSHA regulations. The other important piece is to make sure all personnel are wearing proper PPE (personal protective equipment) like gloves, bodysuits, goggles, and the like. And of course – keep any sort of ignition sources well clear of any area where flammable liquids and gases are being used. 

Electrical Fires

Industrial facilities take a real building. Heavy machinery is roaring, equipment is banging away, production lines are whirring and your employees are always on the move. As such, it can be easy for things like wires to become exposed or not perform up to code. Outlets can be overloaded, there can be circuit overloads and even static discharge. And even worse – a spark from an electrical source can cause the ignition of combustible dust and flammable liquids and gas. 

Staying safe from electrical fires is a whole blog itself, but the key takeaways are to practice basic electrical safety like you would at home. That includes things like not overloading circuits, not overloading outlets, not using unnecessary extension cords, and just like at home – unplug high-energy consumption assets when they’re not in use. 

Employees should always follow a regular cleaning schedule and should be trained and equipped as recommended by OSHA and NFPA. 

If you would like more information on this or any other fire protection topics, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.