Christmas Fire Safety: Tips for the Workplace
The end of the year brings so much festive fun to everyone’s lives and this includes the workplace, which is Christmas fire safety is extremely important. Because of all the decorations, ornaments, lights and of course the Christmas tree that brightens up the office, fire hazards are much more likely to occur.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though, becoming more knowledgeable about how to make your building and workspace safer for everyone can not only prevent fires from occurring, it can also prevent lives being lost and injuries too, in some circumstances. Many of these tips are quick and easy to implement and will make the festive period that much better for everyone.
So, below are some fire safety tips to make your workplace safer this festive season:
Water Your Christmas Tree
We have all seen the fire safety videos that have been making the rounds on the internet. It is incredible how fast a tree can set alight, especially when it isn’t watered every day. A dry Christmas tree can go up in flames, destroying furniture, walls and carpets in less than one minute.
The best way to avoid this is by making sure you water the office tree every day. Keeping it watered means that the flames won’t catch as fast, giving you more time to put out the fire, or evacuate everyone out of the building. Being mindful of any candles, naked flames or electric output close to the tree is a great way to be fire safety savvy too.
Don’t Put Decorations Around Lights
When putting up decorations at work, it can be tempting to go all out and decorate anything and everything in sight. Along with the tree, Santa Claus decorations, fairy lights and tinsel on your desk, many people are also tempted to hang decorations from overhanging lights in the office or around lamps.
While this might look great, Christmas decorations are usually very flammable, because they are made from different types of plastic, or card and paper. When overhanging lights heat up, or even radiators as well, this heat can cause decorations to set alight, which is why it is best to avoid decorating these areas.
Have the Correct Fire Safety Equipment
Taking the steps to prevent fires from happening is an important step when making the office fire safe this Christmas. However, in case a fire does occur, you need to be prepared to deal with it. This means having all of the appropriate fire safety equipment that will enable you to put out the fire quickly and safely.
All of this equipment will be familiar to you, such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets, but doing checks around this time of the year is a fantastic way to improve your safety and everyone else’s. Although all warehouses, office spaces and companies should have this safety equipment anyway, it is best practice to make sure it’s in good working order.
Test Your Fire Alarms for Christmas Fire Safety
Preventing dangerous situations from happening is a great step towards fire safety in the workplace, but in case something does go wrong, you also need to have the correct procedures in place.
Testing your fire alarms should be done all year round and when they are more hazardous and flammable objects in the office around Christmas, this is especially important. If you want to go one step further you can even undertake fire alarm servicing to ensure optimum safety and security. This can easily be done by pressing the button to test if it is working and replacing the batteries if it isn’t.
Turn Things Off When You Leave
It is so easy to leave on the lights and decorations when you leave work, as often your mind is elsewhere. However, these small mistakes could potentially be fatal, on the off chance that something goes wrong, or overheats and this could be anything from fairy lights to the electric Santa.
Remembering to switch plugs and switches off when you leave is a small step that can make a big difference and you can also share this responsibility amongst your colleagues as well. This stops overheated electrics from catching alight or breaking and of course make sure you blow any candles out when you leave the room.
Keep Walkways Clear
Whether you work in a warehouse or an office block, it’s important to keep all pathways and walkways clear. Many workplaces have all sorts of ornaments, reindeer figures and Christmas trees throughout where they work, but you need to make sure these don’t obstruct corridors, deskspaces and doorways.
This means that in case of an emergency, everyone can move around freely and get out of the building if they need to. Although decorations bring the festive cheer, be conscious of where you are putting them and that you don’t obstruct others.
Carry Out a Fire Risk Assessment
If you want to maximize your fire safety at work, carrying out a fire risk assessment is a great way to do this. This can help identify any problem areas which are particularly hazardous and ensures that all of your safety equipment is correct and up-to-date.
All workplaces should carry this out and it is recommended that it is done annually, or if your work environment has changed significantly. This sort of assessment can not only prevent injuries and potentially save lives. It can also help you to understand the next steps you need to take towards having a fire safe business and what else you can do to ensure Christmas fire safety this year.