Every winter, businesses are consumed by flames--and it's easy to see why. During the winter months, heating skyrockets and more people spend time indoors. Clutter can build up as employees are reluctant to step out, and emergency doors may be blocked off by snowfall. With that in mind, here are some steps you can take to reduce the potential for fire hazards during the chilly time of the year.
1. Assign Someone the Task of Checking the Fire Escapes
If you simply ask your employees to regularly check the fire escapes in general, it likely won't get done. You need to specifically assign either a manager, assistant manager or even yourself to the task. Doors should be checked to make sure that they are free and clear of snow--otherwise, if there is a fire, people could get trapped inside.
2. Get Your Furnace Maintained (Or Repaired) as Needed
Just before winter hits is the perfect time for a new furnace installation, if your furnace is already on its last legs. Routine furnace repair and maintenance will not only reduce the possibility of fire, but will also reduce your heating bills and improve the comfort of your customers and employees. Sullivan Super Service is a local furnace repair service you can contact.
3. Go Over Your Safety Training in a Mandatory Meeting
This time of year is the perfect time to go over your mandatory safety training. Make sure all of your employees know how to identify the signs of a fire and what they should do: safely exit the building and then call emergency services. Impress upon them the importance of not trying to go back into the building for things that they need.
4. Test Your Sprinkler and Alarm Systems
Sprinkler systems can be blocked (or non-functional) and alarm systems can be disabled or run out of batteries, so you should always check them on a regular basis. In addition to running a routine test of your sprinkler and alarm systems, you should also make sure that your fire extinguishers have not expired and are still pressurized; you can tell by looking at the gauge at the top and following the directions.
In addition to the above steps, you may want to make sure that you're up to OSHA standards, which can be found in any OSHA handbook. OSHA standards are universal standards businesses in the United States are expected to comply with. A risk assessment, conducted by a professional risk assessor, could be instrumental in improving your safety and reducing potential liability in the event that a fire does occur.