5 Workplace Fire Safety Issues for the Holiday Season

Safety should be a priority in the workplace, and the Christmas season is no exception. Although the office may be decorated and feel festive, everyone must work together to make sure the workplace is safe. In fact, there are five workplace fire safety issues to consider this year.

Using Cords
Many people like to decorate their workspaces. While this is a nice practice that certainly helps set the mood at the office, some precautions need to be taken. When using lights or other electronic decorations that have to be plugged in, it is very important to place cords out of the way. Cords can cause serious accidents or injuries if someone trips over a cord on the floor.

Also, never plug too many devices into one plug, because that could cause a fire.

Burning Candles
Lots of people like to burn scented candles around the workplace. They put off a nice glow and make the area smell good. Someone in the office should be in charge in going around at closing time to make certain all candles have been put out.

The London Fire Brigade, the largest UK fire and rescue service, said British firefighters responded to nearly 150 fires started by candles in December 2010, and these caused an average of one fire injury every other day. Fire chiefs are warning people to make sure they never leave candles unattended and to think carefully when putting up their Christmas decorations so no candles are placed nearby.

Warming Food
Some people bake treats or cook dishes and bring them to the office for everyone to share. They may use warming trays or hot plates to keep the food warm for everyone to enjoy. While this is a nice gesture, someone in the office should be responsible for checking the warming device periodically to ensure it doesn't get too hot and cause a fire. Also, someone needs to be responsible for checking to make sure all warming devices are turned off at the end of the day.

Fire Extinguishers
During the holiday season, workers have a lot on their minds. They are thinking about upcoming holiday parties, the gifts they need to buy and wrap, cards they need to send, etc. Having all of these thoughts on the brain can mean that accidents happen. A burning cigarette might get too close to something and start a fire. Therefore, it's very important that every workplace has fire extinguishers on hand in case of a fire.

It can get very cold at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. Many workers bring personal heaters to use at their desks or in their personal work spaces. Workers must be careful and must not allow anything flammable to get close to the heaters.

Fire safety in the workplace is essential. Employees need to take precautions to keep themselves and their colleagues safe.

Posted by Phillip Dangerfield on Dec 12, 2011