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4 Common Fire Safety Mistakes Most Office Managers Make

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4 Common Fire Safety Mistakes Most Office Managers Make

Checking the fire safety criteria for your business building is usually the last thing on your mind as a busy office manager.

With so much on your mind, it can be easy to let routine fire safety checks be forgotten. With the hectic nature of the workplace, corners may be cut and fire safety best practices may not be adhered to as strictly as they should be.

Don’t be alarmed if this is the case. The goal is to recognise when your business’ fire protection plan is lacking and to act quickly to address the problem.

Watch out for the following four common fire safety mistakes.

4 Common Fire Safety Mistakes Most Office Managers Make

  1. Your equipment is not where it should be

If asked, could you find your nearest office fire extinguisher? Perhaps you’ve relocated it for a training session, or it is buried under a pile of discarded coats.

A common mistake we see from office managers is treating their fire safety equipment like any other piece of office furniture. In an ever-changing office environment, essential fire prevention equipment such as control panels and extinguishers can get lost.

Having defined fire extinguisher positions in your business might help you avoid making this mistake. Next time you rearrange your workstation, set up a regular checklist with fire prevention equipment at the top of the list. That way, you’ll never forget where your fire safety equipment is, and you’ll be able to stay on top of your office’s fire safety strategy.

  1. The office is a mess

When you’ve got clients to worry about and targets to meet, it’s easy to let your workstation become cluttered.

When considering overflowing waste paper bins, stacks of discarded boxes in corridors, and more – the number of flammable things left lying around in offices is one of the reasons why fire spreads so rapidly. Combine this with the fact that evacuation routes are obstructed by clutter, you have a major fire hazard.

Ask yourself, “Would I be happy to show a client around the office?”

If the answer is no, the rubbish and clutter in the office may be a fire hazard.

  1. The extension lead situation has got out of hand

An office manager’s task is to ensure that all employees have access to as many plug sockets as required. Extension cables should be used sparingly, as overloading them could compromise your business building’s fire safety strategy.

Abuse of extension cables considerably increases the danger of electrical shock and fire, and electrical sockets can overheat and catch fire if they are overloaded.

A simple method to solve this problem is setting up a designated charging port in the workplace and enforcing a strict “no charging appliances at your desk” policy. This way, you can keep track of who’s charging what and discourage others from bringing their chargers.

Alternatively, you may provide each employee with a free socket on the condition that they do not misuse it.

  1. Not everyone knows what to do in an evacuation

It may seem simple enough, but people don’t always think clearly in a crisis. Plus, your fire evacuation plan should include more than just getting out of the building.

Staff members need to know who is in charge of the evacuation, what to do if that person isn’t there, whether any staff members require assistance leaving the building, and who to contact for help.

These are just a handful of the items you need to include in your fire evacuation plan. If not all of your employees are aware of this, your fire safety strategy is at risk.

Regular fire drills are the most effective way to address this. By law, they must be done at least once a year, but nothing prevents you from doing this more frequently. Incorporating fire safety training into the onboarding of new employees will also help them get up to speed on your evacuation processes with ease.

Don’t miss these mistakes

Look out for these common fire safety mistakes, and you will be able to recognise whether your company or employees need to brush up on their fire safety skills. Do you need assistance with a fire risk assessment for your business? Get in touch.