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Office Fire Safety Tips

Posted on: May 19, 2011

If you have a serious fire in your New Jersey, Delaware or Philadelphia building, your fire sprinkler system, fire alarms and fire extinguishers can only protect you so much – the most important thing is that you and your coworkers and employees understand how to act so that everyone can get out of the building safely. Plan ahead, stay calm and follow these office fire safety tips to ensure that a fire in your building does not turn into a devastating tragedy.

Office Fire Safety Tips: Be Prepared

Being prepared and having a solid action plan is the most important thing you can do to keep yourself – and your employees – safe from a fire.

  • Work with a fire protection company to develop a building evacuation plan, and make sure you practice the plan frequently with your employees so they can escape without having to stop and think about it.
  • Make sure the evacuation plan is posted conspicuously throughout your building and marks at least two exits so people will have an alternative if one exit is blocked. But first, make sure NO Exits are blocked!!
  • Make sure everyone in your office knows the location of your fire alarms, and that they know how to use them in the event of an emergency.
  • Never block the exits with furniture, equipment, materials or trash, and always keep all stairways and landings clear. Never place or store anything in stairways. If the fire department needs to get upstairs – they need a clear passage to bring up hoses and other equipment.  Junk in your stairways is a recipe for disaster for everyone involved.

Office Fire Safety Tips: Stay Calm

Staying calm is arguably one of the most important, and most difficult, things to do during a fire. It is crucial that you keep a clear head and don’t panic during an emergency so that you can evacuate as safely as possible.

  • Call 911 as soon as you know there is a fire – don’t ever assume that someone else has already called. Don’t assume the fire alarm has already made the call. Better to duplicate the notice of alarm – than to not send one at all! Make sure you stay calm when talking to the dispatcher and give them as much detail about the situation as possible – every little bit of information can help firefighters assess the situation and take care of it.
  • Always use the stairs during a fire – never the elevator. In the event of a power outage, the elevator may get stuck, trapping you.  Keep those stairways clean and clear.
  • Feel any door handles with the back on your hand for heat, then feel the door from top to bottom before you open it. If the handle is hot or the door is too hot, don’t open it – there could be smoke or flames behind it that could rush into the room. If the door is cool, slowly open it and be prepared to quickly close it if smoke or heat rushes in.
  • Evacuate as quickly as possible, making sure you close every door behind you to contain the fire, slowing it down as much as possible.
  • If smoke or fire blocks your path, find a different exit as fast as possible. If you get caught in smoke during your escape, drop as low as possible and move toward the exit – heat and smoke rise, so the cleanest air is going to be closest to the floor.

Office Fire Safety Tips: If There Is No Way to Get Out

If you absolutely can’t escape, remain positive – the fire department is on their way and they will be able to assist you. Again, a clear head is your most important tool in this situation.

  • If possible, build a barricade out of desks, tables and chairs to protect you from heat and smoke. Seal up any cracks by using wet jackets or towels.
  • If you can find a phone, call 911 and give them your exact location.
  • If you can wait at a window, signal for help by waving something that would be visible from outside. You may even be able to open the window for fresh air – just make sure you can close it again if smoke rushes in.
  • Above all, make sure you stay calm. Panicking and running around is the most dangerous thing you can do in a fire situation.

If you want a fire protection company to help you create a fire safety plan for your New Jersey, Delaware or Philadelphia building, or for more office fire safety tips, call Confires today

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