A fire has catastrophic consequences to a business. A fire can endanger lives, damage property and halt a business from operating. Whether you are a retailer, a wholesaler or a manufacturer, minimising the fire hazard risks in your workplace should be part of your business strategy and budget.
Although there are a number of reasons why these fires break out, many are due to negligence and could be prevented with more care and attention. As well as ensuring your business is compliant with fire legislation by having a Fire Risk Assessment completed, you can also minimise risk by identifying potential fire hazards in the workplace.
The Sydney commercial company you engage to clean your workplace site can play a key role helping your organisation reduce the risk of accidental fire.
Here’s a list of things you can include in their commercial cleaning tasks that will help your business minimise these fire hazard risks:
Waste and combustible material
Build-up of waste such as paper, cardboard and other combustible materials can be a problem in many workplace sites.
Combustible materials should be safely stored away from possible source of ignition. For example, do not store cardboard boxes, old files and other combustible office materials near designated smoking zones. A discarded cigarette, can set this alight resulting in a fire that burns rapidly.
One of the best decisions your business can make is to recycle or dispose of all materials that are unimportant. Regular disposal of such materials reduces the risk of it acting as a fuel for potential fires should they break out. Create a safe designated area where staff can throw out old files, records and so forth and have the cleaners take it away with each clean.
Dust and dirt
Not only is a build-up of dust harmful in regards to allergies and the comfort of staff and customers but it’s also a fire hazard. Dust and powder build up from wood, plastic and metal operations can cause explosions in enclosed spaces if there is no proper ventilation. Where there is a risk of dust in the air, for example in factories, extraction fans should be installed. Equipment and machinery that heats up when used should also be kept clean and free of grease and dust. Dust build-up in areas close to heat such as electricity sources and heaters is a major concern. Excess dust may lead to a fire spreading more quickly.
One of the main focuses of regular office cleaning is to remove dust that accumulates on desks, behind desks, underneath desks and other furniture. The removal of dust not only helps in the prevention of fires but also maintains a higher air quality.
Ensure that the commercial cleaners also regular dust equipment, air-conditioning units and appliances in the office.
It’s known that electronic devices especially those in bad condition are a fire risk. Dust can be found in a computers fans, on mouses and screens. The build-up of dust increases the heat and therefore increases the risk of ignition.
Get your commercial cleaning team to regularly dust computers, keyboards, screens, mousepads and so forth to remove dust.
Faulty Electrical Equipment
Fires caused by faulty electrical equipment are one of the most common fire types in the workplace. Keep an eye out for any signs of loose cabling or damaged plugs and replace any faulty equipment. All electrical equipment should be regularly checked and tested by qualified electricians.
Ensure all faulty equipment, appliances and computers are fixed immediately. Ask your commercial cleaning company to report any faulty equipment to you in their cleaning report. You may also use their services to dispose of broken equipment. If your business site is a factory or warehouse, you could hire a skip bin to dispose unwanted equipment and computers.
Paper and rubbish
Paper is highly flammable making it an obvious concern when it comes to fire risk. Paper bins are often tucked away in corners and placed near walls and power outlets. This means if a fire does occur the wastepaper bins may result in the fire spreading more rapidly. A suggestion would be to remove wastepaper from these spot and ensure it is removed and disposed of regularly by your office cleaners.
Corridors, Fire Doors and Stairwell
As your business grow and your combustible material stockpile will increase. Space becomes an issue and staff can be tempted to put boxes and files out of sight but in places that could become fire hazards. For example, spaces behind doors, on the stairwell, underneath stairs and other ‘hidden’ spaces.
Fire doors and stairwells must be free of clutter. In the event of a fire, they are essential escape routes that can save lives. Ask the commercial cleaners to check all these ‘hidden’ spaces and corners as part of their regular cleaning tasks.
Objects that Generate Heat
As one of the three elements required to start a fire, heat generated from electrical equipment and machinery can pose a real threat. Ensure combustible materials such as paper are kept away from such heat sources and unplug any equipment that is not being used if possible. Electrical equipment or machinery should never be left on overnight unless absolutely necessary.
Your Sydney commercial cleaning team usually works after hours or at the end of a working week. It is important that the cleaning team turn off lights and power switches before they leave a building.
Other Fire Hazard Risks
Finally, some fire hazard prevention your organisation must carry out include:
- Ensure regular testing and checking of fire alarms and smoke alarms.
- Prepare a Fire Evacuation Plan and conduct regular fire drills with staff.
- Check that Fire Doors are closed at all times.
- Check that power sockets are not overloaded.
- Ensure all equipment are serviced and checked regularly.
- Educate staff on fire prevention.
Fire prevention is a compulsory business activity. Your Sydney commercial cleaning company can play a role in helping your business prevent an accidental fire from occurring.
DryTech Commercial Cleaning Sydney can assist you in your Fire Prevention Plan. Call us today for more information on how we can keep your business clean and tidy.
DryTech Commercial Cleaning is one of Sydney’s best commercial cleaning companies. For more information about our wide range of services or a free quote call: 02 9161 1621 or email: [email protected]