With the winter season approaching, it is important for businesses to review their fire safety systems. The use of heating systems and seasonal electrical equipment during the colder months increases the risk of fire. Hence, both employers and employees should be proactive in their fie safety plan to prevent fires and maintain workplace safety.
Here are some winter fire safety tips to keep in mind:
Test smoke alarms
Smoke alarm requirements and regulations vary across the states and territories of Australia. However, the following general guidelines are universal principles for smoke alarm testing:
Smoke alarms should be;
interconnected, so that when one alarm goes off, all alarms in the building will sound.
tested once a month by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
cleaned every six months by vacuuming the outside of the alarm to remove any dust or debris.
replaced every ten years, or sooner if they are damaged or not working correctly.
Fire equipment test
Business premises require adequate fire protection and maintenance systems designed to detect and control the outbreak of fire. Fire extinguishers, fire blankets, smoke detectors and fire hose reels are all be kept in proper working order.
Procedures for testing fire equipment are outlined in the Australian Standard AS 1851.
tested on a 6 monthly cycle.
visually inspected to assess their physical accessibility.
pressure tested and then replaced as required.
Check heating systems
Heating systems including furnaces and space heaters, should be regularly inspected and maintained by a qualified professional. Issues should be actioned in order to control hazards and prevent fire.
Flammable materials and heat sources
Flammable materials, such as paper and chemicals, should be kept away from heat sources to prevent combustion. A safe distance between flammable materials and heat sources should be maintained.
Workplaces are required to have in place an evacuation plan which has been distributed to employees. Periodic fire drills reinforce the evacuation process and also keep the topic of safety current and live.
Overloaded electrical outlets and circuits
Electrical circuits have maximum load ratings. Connecting too many appliances to a circuit using power boards will result in an overloaded circuit which increases the potential for an electrical fault. To avoid this risk power outlets should not be overloaded with too many power boards and plugs.
Movable heaters and space heaters
Movable heaters and space heaters should be placed with sufficient distance to flammable materials. To reduce the risk, mobile heaters should be kept away from curtains, carpets, and other combustible materials.
These winter fire safety tips can assist your workplace to reduce the risk and manage the potential for fire in your workplace. Prevention is key and being proactive about fire safety can prevent serious accidents and protect lives. Stay safe this winter season by respecting the need for proactive fire safety.
For over two decades, we have been offering and providing reliable fire testing services. To schedule your next test, please visit our website at www.testel.com.au.
With headquarters in Adelaide and multiple offices across the nation we can assist with all your safety testing requirements.