Fire Safety Audits:
Any building, whether an office, factory, school, hospital or any public facility place is exposed to fire risk, unless all fire hazards are identified and remedial measures taken. Fire risks cannot be eliminated completely, but surely these can be minimized through an external Fire & Electrical Safety audit from the competent safety auditors. Such audits should be repeated every year as the hazards keep surfacing from time to time.
Above all, the poor non-compliant installations and poor maintenance procedures, poor safety training and drills add to the risk of a fire in the workplace. Fortunately, there are steps that factory / building owners and managers can take to reduce the risk of a fire through getting the Fire Safety Audits carried out in their workplaces. Such audits help identify fire hazards, and carry out the timely remedial implementations.A Stitch in Time Saves Nine:
Addressing Existing Hazards Therefore, it is important to conduct in depth Fire Safety Audit to assess fire hazards, which may be due to one or more of the following reasons:
- Absence of Code Compliance in Fire / Electrical and other Installations
- Unsafe work or operating procedures
- Absence of preventive maintenance and
- Inadequate firefighting training to employees
One major step that all factory managers should take is to safely and immediately eliminate any existing fire hazards. Possible sources of a fire, such as malfunctioning electrical equipment, open flames, spilled chemicals, or overheating equipment should be reported and addressed immediately. Catching these hazards early on can prevent a fire from starting altogether.A major percentage of fires in the building breakout from Electrical Installations. Therefore, the fire safety audit should also be accompanied by the electrical safety audit.
Electrical safety audit is not complete without thermography which is carried out at an additional cost. Also referred to as IR (InfraRed) imaging, it exposes the hot spots in the electrical switchgear, electrical connections and cables, which a human eye cannot see. In addition, fire evacuation routes should be mapped out and placed in rooms and hallways where they are visible to staff. These routes must remain unblocked at all times so that workers can escape on a moment's notice. If a building is equipped with fire doors, these doors should remain shut at all times so that a potential fire remains contained to one portion of the factory.Employee Training:
In a factory setting, all employees should be trained to deal with a fire hazard. Regular drills should be conducted so that all workers know the evacuation protocol should a fire start. Also, workers should be trained to handle a fire extinguisher to put out small fires in the workspace before they spread. If for some reason a fire exit is closed off or blocked, a factory manager must notify all staff of any changes to evacuation maps or plans so that workers know how to safely escape the building.Detection and Suppression:
All buildings and factories should have functioning fire alarm systems that are regularly tested. These systems are crucial to ensuring that entire staff has time to be warned of a fire and to safely evacuate the building. In addition, all factories should be outfitted with comprehensive fire suppression systems. These may include fire extinguisher boxes, fire sprinkler systems, Fire Hydrants and chemical extinguishing agents, to name a few. Each building / factory should ensure that it has the proper extinguishing agents to deal with all possible fuel sources should a fire break out.