In addition to potential loss of life, as well as property and employment loss, an office fire can result in financial losses that could negatively affect your business profitability for years to come.
Statistics show that the main cause of all office and store fires originates with cooking in the kitchen. Due to this frequency, it is crucial for all business owners and managers to educate their employees to understand and always adhere to fire safety best practices. To help keep everyone at your office protected from fire-related accidents, follow these office kitchen fire safety tips from the fire and smoke damage restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Restore.
Install and maintain proper fire protection devices
Without the proper safety devices and protocols, fires in the workplace can put lives in danger, damage property, halt operations, destroy important business records, and reduce employment opportunities and business profitability for years to come.
The most effective strategy to prevent workplace fire hazards is to have approved fire protection devices such as fire suppression systems, fire alarms, fire sprinklers, and fire extinguishers properly installed and maintained by licensed technicians. Outdated or obsolete fire protection systems must be replaced and inspected to ensure all devices and systems are fully functional throughout the year.
Implement Fire Extinguisher Training for All Staff
There is no point in having fire extinguishers in the workplace if employees don’t know how to operate them. Employee fire extinguisher training for all staff is an essential requirement for any business. In addition, owners and managers should consult with fire safety service providers to ensure they have the right type and necessary amount of fire extinguishers—and that they are strategically placed and in working order.
Never leave cooking food unattended
When at home, people regularly keep an eye on their food while they’re cooking. At work, however, employees often become distracted and wander away from the kitchen and forget to keep an eye on their cooking. And this is usually when fire-related accidents happen.
Emphasize to everyone using the office kitchen that they must stay nearby while their food or beverages are being cooked or heated, whether using a toaster oven, toaster, microwave or any other cooking appliance; and they must always keep aware for any signs of smoke or overcooking.
Check appliances and power chords regularly for fraying or damage
Power cords are covered in soft, pliable material that provides insulation while also allowing for flexibility. These soft coverings eventually become frayed and expose the cord's inner electrical wires. Exposed power cords can short-circuit and cause workplace kitchen fires.
Encourage employees to keep an eye out for frayed or damaged cords and replace them as soon as they are found. Never use cords that show signs of damage, including cracks, fraying or exposed wires, as they put the office at risk for fire.
Regularly clean all kitchen appliances
We all know that cooking can get messy. Over time, kitchen appliances can accumulate grease and other combustible substances such as crumbs or popcorn kernels that can cause a fire if not cleaned regularly. Spills should be wiped up immediately to avoid having them harden onto surfaces that could cause burning when the appliance is used again. All kitchen cooking appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, ovens and stoves should be wiped down regularly as a precaution to prevent kitchen fires.
Other tips to avoid office kitchen fires
All it takes is one accident that could put fellow employees and the business in harm’s way. To ensure everyone’s safety, here are more tips you can follow to help avoid a fire in the kitchen and other workplace areas.
· Limit the use of extension cords. Always plug kitchen appliances directly into a wall outlet instead of using extension cords.
· Always unplug small appliances when not in use.
· Follow the manufacturer's recommendations when using surge protectors, power strips, adapters, and other electrical power supply equipment
What to do if you experience an office kitchen fire
In the event your workplace does experience a kitchen fire and it cannot be put out safely and quickly, evacuate the building immediately. Once you are outside, call emergency services.
After the fire is extinguished, call on the experts at ServiceMaster Restore. Our fire and smoke damage restoration services can help get your facility back to pre-loss condition quickly and safely, and get your business back up and running as soon as possible.
Our certified technicians are trained in fire and smoke damage restoration, and corrosion control. With our continuing education program, our technicians are always up to date on the best cleaning products and technology. Make ServiceMaster Restore part of your post-fire recovery plan. Call today and ask about our commercial fire damage and smoke damage restoration services.