Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness (General Industry)
Our OSHA-aligned course covers fire safety, emergency preparedness, and standards for exit routes and fire protection.
- Full analysis of OSHA - 29 CFR 1910 Subparts E and L Standards
- Finish the course in only 2 hours
- Earn 0.2 CEUs upon successful course completion
- Geared towards all employees to ensure safety
100% Online At Your Own Pace
Developed by Certified Safety Experts
Certificate Upon Completion
Interactive and Engaging
About This Course s-mod-info
Workplace safety is a top priority for employers and employees alike, and one aspect that should never be underestimated is fire safety. Fires can pose a significant threat to both lives and property, making it crucial for individuals and organizations to be well-prepared. In this blog, we’ll explore key fire safety tips for the workplace, including how to make an effective fire safety plan.
What Is a Fire Safety Plan?
A fire safety plan is a comprehensive document outlining the procedures, protocols, and measures to prevent, respond to, and manage fire emergencies in a specific location, such as a building or workplace. The primary goal of a fire safety plan is to protect lives, property, and the environment by ensuring that individuals are well-prepared to handle fire-related incidents. While OSHA doesn’t specifically require every employer in the country to have a fire safety plan, it is highly recommended.
Safety Plan Components
Establishing an effective safety plan reduces the risk of potential hazards to employees and to the business. How well the plan works depends on how soon it’s implemented, preferably before any emergencies happen.
Fire safety plans should include:
- Designated times and intervals to review the fire safety plan, including local and industry fire safety laws, as well as practice for fire safety procedures
- A designated check-in location away from the business for employees to gather during a fire emergency, ensuring that employees are familiar with the location
- Roles to be assigned to employees, such as who will handle the fire extinguisher, who checks in employees at the check-in location, etc.
By investing time proactively in a fire safety plan that includes education, training, and awareness, your business is substantially more prepared to handle an emergency and minimize risks and losses.
Fire prevention is best carried out by mitigating fire hazards in the workplace. Employees should receive regular training on potential fire hazards to ensure they know what to look out for. Various areas to review include:
- Electrical outlets/circuit overload: Plugging too many appliances into an outlet or circuit can cause fires. Employees and managers should regularly check things like how many appliances share an outlet and what sections or groupings in an office have multiple machines or appliances plugged in.
- Electrical cords and outlets: Electrical wiring can be extremely dangerous, so employees should regularly check for exposed wires and damaged cords and dispose of damaged items immediately. Extension cords, used incorrectly, may also increase fire risk. ‘Daisy-chaining’ and overloading extension cords are some ways that extension cords can become hazardous.
- Flammable material storage: If your employees handle flammable materials, they need to be properly stored as dictated by local regulations, such as by storing them in a ‘flammables cabinet’ and by not storing them near electrical equipment and potential exposure sources of heat, flames, or sparks.
- Flammable chemicals: Processes should be in place to prevent certain chemicals from being stored in the same place, as some cannot safely be stored in the same location. Employees should be trained in this regard, including recognizing chemical warning labels.
- Trash and recycling: Trash and recycling piles are highly flammable and can cause fire hazards. Ensure these piles aren’t stored near electrical equipment, are emptied regularly, and are not stored near exits so they don’t cause an obstacle or hazard in the event of an emergency.
Monitor Fire-Prone Areas
Almost every workplace has an area that is more fire-prone than others. Workers must take additional care in these spaces to prevent fires. Training should include actions such as unplugging any electrical equipment or appliances when not in use and ensuring proper storage of flammable materials, as they need to be kept away from high-heat environments and should not be stored near incompatible items. Awareness and training your employees are the best ways to ensure an accident doesn’t occur. Common areas of concern include:
- Kitchens, employee/staff break rooms, with appliances like toasters, coffee pots, refrigerators, or microwaves. (Note: make sure the appliances aren’t overloading one outlet or circuit.)
- Server rooms can become very hot and a hazard if they are not vented properly.
- Designate smoking/tobacco use areas to ensure they don’t come close to or in contact with combustible or flammable materials. Provide proper disposal containers to keep sparks or embers from coming in contact with your building, flammable chemicals, surrounding landscape areas, trash receptacles, etc.
- Labs and workstations that contain hazardous and flammable materials.
Fire Safety Measures
Despite best efforts to prevent them, fires can still occur in your business. Your building should have regular inspections to check that all of the equipment is working properly and updates are made as needed. This includes smoke alarms, sprinklers, and fire extinguishers, which can vary in use from building to building. The number and type of fire extinguisher depends on potential hazards within your workplace.
Managers and business owners can keep their workplaces safe from fire hazards by implementing the following measures:
- Provide the necessary training to workers on how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Designate employees to handle extinguishers in the event of a fire and for inspection.
- Each month, the designated employee(s) should inspect the extinguishers to confirm they are charged and within the expiration date. (Yes, fire extinguishers can expire!)
- Place all extinguishers in visible, easy-to-reach places where they are not blocked or obstructed by shelving, desks, workstations, etc.
Clear Exits and Paths to Safety
Every building is required to have emergency exits, and they must remain clear of obstacles and obstructions at all times. It is just as important that these exits are clearly labeled and well-lit and their maps are posted for all employees and visitors who may enter your business. It is also important to not store flammable liquids along exit paths inside and outside the building.
Get Trained With AdvanceOnline Today
Prioritizing fire safety in the workplace is a shared responsibility that requires proactive measures, training, and awareness. While implementing the discussed fire safety tips can help, enrolling in online fire safety courses can really prepare you for any emergency.
Take a proactive step towards a safer workplace by exploring our online fire safety courses. We offer courses for both construction and general industry. Check out our full catalog on our website today!
This course is intended for all employees.
After taking this course, you will be able to:
- Recognize the dangers of fires and other potential workplace emergencies
- Explain the OSHA requirements for exit routes
- Outline the requirements for Fire Prevention Plans and Emergency Action Plans
- Describe OSHA requirements for fire protection, particularly regarding fire extinguishers.
What You Get
Certificate of Completion
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