This October, Flagship recognizes National Fire Prevention Month as designated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – a global non-profit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire and electrical hazards.
The highlight of the event is Fire Prevention Week, taking place October 9-15. Fire Prevention Week is observed each year in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871. The conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in the U.S.
This year’s Fire Protection Week campaign, “Fire won’t wait – Plan your escape”, works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from fires.
As a property owner or manager, you have the unique responsibility of protecting your occupants, physical assets, and the facility itself.
Arguably one of the most important steps you can take to fulfill this responsibility is to train employees in the complexities of fire safety.
Here are some steps that employees can take to prevent fire in the workplace, as outlined by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):
- Check for damaged or overloaded electrical outlets, cords, and cables.
- Keep anything that can burn away from electrical equipment.
- Never leave portable heating devices unattended.
- Keep workspace and equipment clean, dry, and well ventilated.
- Plan and practice multiple escape routes in case one is blocked.
- Ensure windows can be opened and screens can be removed.
- Remove any obstacles from exits.
On the other hand, employers and facilities managers are responsible for maintaining life safety systems, fire protection equipment, and training. Every FM should be prepared to:
- Make sure smoke alarms and fire sprinklers are properly installed and working.
- Post clear fire escape plans on every level of the building.
- Teach employees about exit locations, escape routes, and fire protection equipment.
- Check the condition of fire ladders and escapes.
- Conduct regular emergency safety drills.
Although practicing fire safety decreases your chances of being impacted by fire, accidents can still occur. Be sure to update your Business Continuity Plan with processes and procedures for restoring critical business functions in the event of a fire.
For additional resources on National Fire Prevention Week, visit https://www.nfpa.org/fpw.
Our team takes every possible measure to minimize risk and ensure the health and safety of everyone, every day.
Those measures include training our employees on fire and electrical safety.