Fire Safety in the Workplace at Christmas
Ensuring that your employees and customers are safe from fire in your business premises should always be at the top of your list of concerns. Christmastime is no different, but it brings with it its own issues which you’ll need to know how to address. In this article, we’re going to detail how to achieve full fire safety in the workplace during the festive season. To do this, we’re going to highlight various areas of concern that arise at Christmastime.
Avoid Overloading Electrical Sockets
Many types of Christmas decorations use electricity, and while functioning decorations in and of themselves don’t pose a fire safety problem, overloading an electrical power outlet can. Make sure not to plug too many of your decorations into the same outlet to avoid overheating and the threat of electrical fire. Also, check to ensure that you are using decorations with fuses in the plugs – this is an important safety device in the fight against fire.
Test Your Fire Alarms Regularly
A central tenet of fire safety in the workplace is the regular testing of fire alarms. Though all business premises should test their fire alarm regularly, it is especially true of larger work environments where fires may start far away from where people are usually sat or working throughout the day. The other elements on this list all fall secondary to having a suitable and functioning fire detection system in place.
Safely Position Your Christmas Tree
Materials that can catch fire easily must not be positioned anywhere near your tree. Christmas trees are fuel for fires, and as they are large they could spread the fire quicker than usual, too. Furthermore, it is around your Christmas tree that you’re most likely to overload an electrical socket, as outlined above, so take care to avoid this.
Fairy Lights and Decorations
Excitement for Christmas begins in earnest when you start hanging up your decorations, but make sure not to get too carried away! Certain places aren’t suitable for your decorations and cause harm in the long run. Decorations can burn easily, so don’t attach them to lights and lamps where they can heat dramatically.
Equally, fairy lights should not be left on at the end of the working day. The last employee to leave the premises must remember to switch off the fairy lights to avoid the risk of fire.
Ensure the Correct Fire Safety Equipment Is Installed
If anything goes wrong with your Christmas decorations, you’ll need the appropriate fire safety equipment to deal with it. Fire extinguishers are one of the main ways of combating fires in the workplace.
For complete fire safety, your fire extinguishers must be properly positioned around your workplace, and you must have a suitable fire extinguisher for the types of fire you’re likely to deal with. At Christmastime, electrical fires are more common, so you will need a Dry-powder or Carbon-dioxide extinguisher to hand for an electrical fire, or a Water/AFFF Foam unit for the leaves, decorations and other textile type fires. However, to find out more you’ll need expert advice.
Cheshire Fire provide a range of fire safety services including fire alarm installations, fire safety training and free site surveys across the Cheshire area. For a specialised and detailed fire risk assessment of your premises, contact our friendly team today.