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Commonly Ignored Fire Hazards in the Workplace

Fire safety should be a priority in any workplace. Fire poses very real and life-threatening risks to a business. Not only can it damage and destroy buildings, but fire can also cause injury or death to employees. Therefore it’s vital to regularly control and monitor fire hazards in the workplace.

1st Attendance Ltd provides expert staff fire safety training across the UK. Our services range from construction site fire safety training, to fire warden training all taught by qualified, fire safety experts. From experience, here are some of the most important, yet commonly ignored fire hazards in the workplace.

What is a Fire Hazard?

A fire hazard is anything that increases the possibility of a fire occurring. Many things within the workplace can be a fire hazard if used improperly. The number of fire hazards can be used to calculate your all-encompassing fire risk. Fire risk is the likelihood of a fire outbreak, depending on the fire safety measures in place and any hazards within the workplace. 

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To calculate your fire risk, you would need to conduct a fire risk assessment. During your assessment, you should ask yourself questions based upon the fire hazards in your workplace. For example, “Are fire alarms checked regularly?” or “How often are staff re-trained?”. Most importantly, be honest. Don’t report yourself as satisfactory if you only check the fire alarms once every year.

Certain hazards pose more of a risk than others when taking into account your building and staff’s knowledge. If your business stores flammable liquid in a room with two fire doors, it is less of a risk than it being stored in a room with other electricals and no fire doors. You can decrease the risk of fire by controlling the hazards around your workplace. Monitor your workplace for fire hazards regularly and try to isolate hazards.

A safe environment is a fundamental necessity for any workplace. Most, if not all, workplaces will have fire hazards that need to be regularly monitored. Some examples of fire hazards in the workplace are as follows.

Fire Hazards in the Workplace

  • Dust 
    • Dust is commonly left to pile up from plastic, wood and metalwork in some workplaces. These specks of material are an example of an extremely dangerous fire hazard. If a fire were to start in a room with little ventilation, these dust particles can cause explosions. To decrease this risk, factories should install extractor fans to keep the air free from dust.
  • Extension Leads & Faulty Equipment 
    • Sadly, hundreds of workplace fires still happen because of faulty electrical equipment, or just plain misuse. Extension leads can often be misleading, offering 5 more sockets than your wall does. This invites the user to input a lot more current than the socket can handle. An electrical surge will spark that could cause a devastating fire. If you’re looking to decrease this risk, ensure that all high power electronics are plugged into their socket. Furthermore, always monitor your electrical equipment to ensure it’s safe.
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  • Smoking
    • Cigarette smokers at work can be a huge fire hazard if they aren’t provided with a controlled area to smoke. Workplaces should offer a contained smoking area, away from any flammable materials and buildings. These smoking areas should also contain bins and ashtrays to extinguish the cigarette, decreasing the risk of fire.
  • Flammable Liquids & Solvents 
    • Many workplaces use flammable liquids, while they do pose a rather large fire risk, you can decrease the severity of the hazard. You should always isolate flammable materials because they ignite so quickly. It’s also in your best interest to ensure all bottles are properly sealed and stored away upright. If any spills were to happen, they should be cleaned up immediately.
  • Untrained Staff
    • One of the largest ignored fire hazards in the workplace is staff ignorance. Fire safety should be a priority in any workplace, and all employees should have a basic knowledge of fire safety. Offering your staff fire safety training hugely decreases the risk of fire in the workplace.

Employee Fire Safety Training 

The importance of staff fire awareness can’t be emphasised enough. First Attendance Ltd offers excellent staff fire safety training at your workplace, to save you time and energy. All of our courses are taught by qualified, experienced instructors that can tailor our courses to your unique needs. 
Furthermore, we have continued to supply our second-to-none fire safety training throughout the lockdown via live webinars. We are a well-established and fully accredited firm that specialises in workplace fire safety. Our courses are also IFSM Accredited (The Institute of Fire Safety Managers), meaning it is a recognised course. Join our 4000 satisfied customers, get in touch with us today.