Be ready if fire strikes your workplace

By Tyler J. Moffitt
The Safety Advocate

Your workplace is also your livelihood, and each and every one in your workplace needs to take care of it, as well as look out for all co-workers and ourselves.
When fire strikes, flames and smoke can spread quickly! In fact, once a fire starts, it can double in size every 30 seconds and can grow and spread in six different directions.
Smoke spreads even faster!
If a fire started in your work area, would you know what to do? Do you know your emergency evacuation procedures and designated safe meeting place?
What can you do to prevent fire in your work area?
Knowing the answers to theses questions can prevent injuries and property loss.
Be prepared and know:
•the locations of all fire exits in your workplace should a fire strike;
•the locations of the nearest fire alarm pull stations and how to use them (they may be located on different levels of your workplace, but where are they?);
•how to call 9-1-1 (fire emergency number), and any reporting points that needs to be given to the emergency dispatcher;
•your workplace fire evacuation procedures, and designated primary or secondary assembly areas (safe meeting spot);
•fire extinguishers and their locations (just like fire alarm pull stations, they may be located on different levels of your workplace, but do you know where they are?);
•remember fire extinguishers are designed for fighting small, contained fires, such as a fire in a wastebasket (the fire extinguisher in your workplace may not be suitable for dealing with grease or electrical fire);
•has everyone in your workplace received training on how to use a fire extinguisher?
•fire hose stations and their locations (again, they may be located on different levels of your workplace, but do you know where?);
•realize that if a fire hose is utilized, it needs to be deployed and fully stretched out (the same practice needs to be utilized for the rubber fire hoses on the fire hose reels … deploy the entire length of hose);
•remember, fire hoses are for larger fires, but require special training, as well as the use of special PPE (personal protective equipment);
•fire doors and their locations (closing the fire doors can keep fire and smoke from spreading to another area and prevent property loss); and
•take the time to review the previous bullets above in your work area this week!
We, as Canadians, need to take responsibility for our health and safety now, and take care of what we have!
Safety—we can all make a difference!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.

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