Tips to Prevent Smoke & Fire Damage to Your Business
Reduce Stacks of Paper Items in Your Office
Do you have a stack of papers lying in the corner of your office that is growing bigger every day? Items like papers, magazines, boxes, and other paper products in your office is fuel for a potential fire. Stacks of paper items not only provides fuel for a fire but it can also hide potential fire hazards. Storage boxes in closets and storage areas rather in the corner of your office or blocking stairwells. Try keeping your desk and office clean and free of all items to reduce the risks of fire. Use file cabinets and drawers to store papers and documents.
Safely Store Flammable Chemicals and Liquids
If you’re working with flammable liquids, chemicals, and/or solvents, make sure you store them in the proper area accordingly to OSHA or fire department regulations. Some flammable materials and chemicals may need to be stored in specialized cabinets according to local rules and regulations. For flammable liquids and materials that don’t require specialized storage, you still should ensure that they are stored away from any heat source. You also need to make sure that if the liquids or materials off-gas creating flammable vapors that you have proper ventilation. If you don’t have proper ventilation, the vapors can build up and ignite from a small spark like a light switch being flipped on or a plug being inserted into an outlet.
Designate a Smoking Areas
If you have employees who smoke, designate an area where smoking is only allowed. It’s preferable that the area is located outside to reduce smoke odors in the business and fire risks from cigarettes that weren’t fully extinguished. You also need to make sure that you have a proper receptacle for employees to discard their extinguished cigarette butts. Also, make sure that the designated smoking area is away from flammable liquids and materials, as well as, landscaping that could fuel a fire like dried grasses, mulch, and dead leaves.
Report Electrical Problems
It’s important to let your employees know to report any electrical problems immediately before they result in a potential fire. This could be exposed wiring, frayed cords, faulty wiring, electrical equipment and sockets near water sources, etc. If you notice an electrical problem in your business, call an electrician to fix it if needed. Don’t try to fix any wiring issues yourself as this can also lead to an increased risk of fire due to inexperience and mistakes. It’s also important to keep access to electrical boxes clear so you can quickly cut the power to an area if there is a risk of fire.
Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets
One of the most common causes of fire in a business is an overloaded electrical outlet. An overloaded outlet can cause an increase of heat to the outlet, plugs, and wires. The heat can melt the insulation around the wires causing them to touch and cause sparks. The best scenario is that the circuit breaker flips before the wires short and cause sparks. If the circuit doesn’t flip off, then the heat and the sparks can quickly lead to an electrical fire. If you’re always tripping a circuit or notice your desktop lights dimming, then you might be overloading the outlet. To reduce the load, move some electronics to other outlets.
Be Safe & Be Smart
These are just a few tips that you can follow to reduce the risks of smoke and fire damage to your business. The best advice to keep your business safe from fire is to be smart and be aware. Use common sense when at your business. For instance, while some businesses allow scented candles to be burned by employees, it might be smart to not permit this. The same goes for space heaters. While you don’t want to be a mean business owner by prohibiting things like candles and space heaters, you also don’t want to increase the risk of fire occurring at your business. I think most workers will understand that safety is more important than convenience and comfort in these situations.
Contact the Fire & Smoke Damage Professionals if a Fire Does Occur
Hopefully, your business will never experience a fire. Not only can a fire cause a lot of property damage, it can also lead to a lot of downtime and loss of revenue. If you should, unfortunately, experience a fire at your Southern McHenry County business, contact the fire and smoke damage experts at SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County. They’ll be able to quickly clean up and restore any damage that has occurred to your business from fire. SERVPRO of Southern McHenry County has the resources and knowledge to handle any size disaster. Contact them today for fire damage restoration.