Fire Risk Management for Canadian Businesses
Each year, Canadian businesses suffer thousands of fires1, resulting in hundreds of fire-related injuries and fatalities2. From a small café to a massive industrial plant, each business needs a customized plan outlining how to prevent fires, as well what to do in the event of one. Whether your workplace is a kitchen, storefront, office, farm or factory, fire is a vulnerability that can harm your employees, customers and property, and even result in the end of your business. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure you are doing everything possible to avoid such risks.
Develop a fire prevention plan
It takes more than good insurance coverage to give you peace of mind where fire and your business is concerned. Developing a comprehensive fire prevention plan that takes into account your company’s specific needs is a must. Putting strong safety measures in place and preparing yourself and your staff for what to do if a fire breaks out are important steps in managing the risk of fire. Place your fire exit plan at strategic locations at your business site.
Appoint a Safety Officer
Every company must designate a Fire Prevention Officer, with additional employee assistants for larger companies. This person should be in charge of posting fire escape routes and safe meeting places for your employees, as well as keeping your fire prevention efforts and communications up to date. Fire safety plans and emergency response procedures should be provided to all employees and contractors. It’s recommended that fire drills be conducted at least twice a year. Drills should be observed and adjustments made to the fire safety plan to ensure its effectiveness 3.
Check your electrical
Frayed electrical cords, loose wall outlets and broken connectors needs to repaired or replaced immediately. In addition, use only one extension cord or power bar to an outlet. Finally, office “octopus wiring” where clusters of wires, cords and plugs converge on an outlet should be avoided.
Give appliances the space they need
Leave room behind all appliances from coffee machines to computers so that air can circulate in order to keep temperatures in check. Keep the back of appliance free of dust by having them vacuumed regularly. If possible, unplug appliances at the end of every work day to prevent fires.
Remove flammables from your storeroom
Never store flammable or combustible materials near a furnace or heat source. Stockpiling hazardous materials can be dangerous. Check your local municipality for places to get rid of them.
Keep doors closed
When not in use, always keep doors closed. Never dismantle automatic door closers or prop open fire doors.
Install a quality alarm system
It’s important for every business to have the best quality professional alarm system and that includes monitored smoke detectors. Monitored smoke detectors ensure that if something is smouldering, you and/or emergency responders will be notified before a damaging fire breaks out. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. Your Fire Safety Officer should test them once a month and ensure batteries are replaced. Once again, monitored smoke detectors can save lives -- and your bottom line -- even when you are not on site.
TELUS Secure Business can help you protect your business from fire for pennies a day
Call 855.958.8181 today to speak to one of our fire prevention experts who can help you put a prevention plan in place.