If you are a small business owner, it is your responsibility to keep your business property, employees, and customers safe. Regardless of the type of business you have, there is going to be some kind of fire risk, whether from storing flammable materials in your warehouse or having a nearby fire that may affect your property. You need to be fully prepared. Here are some tips for protecting your business from fire.
Know Your Fire Risks
In order to protect your business from fires, you first need to know what types of risks you have. Based on the type of your business, you might have certain ignition sources that put you at a higher risk for fire or you may need to have safer storage for flammable materials. Look at the types of products you sell or services you provide when determining your fire risk. For example, if you run a diner, you know your kitchen has the majority of the fire risks. You might have oil and grease near the stovetop, which already increases your risk for fire. Make sure your kitchen staff knows the procedures for avoiding kitchen fires. For other businesses, your biggest fire risk might be the wood furniture you sell, having hot equipment without proper ventilation, or gas heaters that might be placed too close to flammable materials.
Have Fire Equipment Ready
The next you need to do is provide adequate fire equipment. You might not always be able to prevent a fire in the workplace, but you can at least be prepared for one. To start with, you should have smoke and fire alarms in your office, warehouse, store, and other areas of the business property. You also need to have proper fire extinguishers based on what your risks are. If you have a kitchen in the workplace, you will need a class K fire extinguisher as these help with oil, grease, and kitchen fires. There are also other fire extinguishers based on what type of fire they put out, such as chemical fires and brush fires.
Develop an Emergency Evacuation Plan
Make sure you have a detailed evacuation plan for your business that helps you get employees out safely, but also teaches them precautions during a fire. For example, they should know basic fire emergency procedures, including keeping low to the ground to avoid smoke inhalation, touching doors to feel if they are hot before exiting a room, and knowing where the exit routes are. Not only do you need to have an evacuation plan that shows employees where to go during a fire, but you should practice the plan periodically.
For more information about preparing your business to handle a fire, contact a company like The Safety Team Inc.