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Fire Extinguishers
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Not all workplace fires are avoidable. Even so, many fires in Chicago could be avoided with more awareness of workplace fire risks. What are some of the risks most likely to start fires? More importantly, how can you decrease these risks? Let’s get to work:

Faulty electronics: You may see loose wires and figure they’re not a big deal. Yet the first time you notice them is when you’re most likely to do something about them. If you figure you’ll do it later, you make it normal in your mind to ignore them. Chances are you won’t address it later, which can leave exposed or loose wires as a daily fire risk.

Flammable materials: When something is a fire risk, that doesn’t mean it’s a fire risk for someone else with worse luck. It means it’s a fire risk, period. That means it needs to be dealt with. Yet many businesses allow the storage of combustible materials against the fire code. This isn’t smart, and finding a safer storage place won’t prove that difficult.

Misusing equipment: A lot of equipment is used in ways it wasn’t designed for. Sometimes, this is acceptable. You find fixes at the workplace that work with the equipment you have available. Yet sometimes, you increase the risk of injury or fire by using equipment outside its parameters. If you’re asking, “Can this start a fire?” chances are the answer is yes. Adapt as you need, but don’t use equipment in ways that violate the equipment’s recommended safety parameters.

Human error: Yes, it can seem oppressive when a boss has rules about how to use the kitchen microwave. Yet that work regulation may exist because someone once left something in for 20 minutes unsupervised and started a fire. Sometimes you’ve got to be the boss who reminds people not to stick metal in the microwave, or not to leave it running unsupervised, or not to take drinks near certain machinery, or not to tamper with the fire extinguishers. Yet reinforcing common safety practices like this will minimize one of the most dangerous ingredients in any fire: human error.

Fires in Chicago can’t always be avoided, but your risk for workplace fires can be minimized. Simply follow fire codes, maintain a monitored fire alert system, minimize workplace risk, and maintain your sprinklers and fire extinguishers. It’s not rocket science…but it can stop your employees from trying to practice rocket science with your workplace.