A major fire can bring any business to a halt. A fire can occur at any time at any place. It can lead to major disasters and loss of lives in buildings like real estate offices. Such disasters can be prevented or avoided if proper building fire safety practices are observed. In order to mitigate the fire, the very first step, the management has to take would be to determine the fire risks and fire prevention planning follows.
Everyone deserves to work in a safe environment, thus fire prevention planning should never be taken lightly because a fire can be caused by many factors and in an instant, it can destroy an entire Real Estate Agency.
The following are important fire safety tips that will help prevent office fires.
Minimize Paper Clutter
Some effective ways for reducing paper clutter include filing papers in metal filing cabinets, digitally storing important files to reduce the number of hard copies, encouraging the recycling of unwanted papers, and establishing a day for regular recycling pick up to get an excess paper out of your office.
Maintain your Electronic Equipment
Real Estate Offices usually use plenty of electrical equipment such as computers, servers, copy machines, and printers and if these machines are not maintained properly, they could increase the risk of a fire. Make sure employees understand the importance of reporting any type of malfunction in the equipment to have it fixed right away and it is also wise to have machines that are heavily used routinely serviced to prevent breakdowns and malfunctions.
Train Everyone on the Use and Location of your Fire Extinguishers
Maintaining the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Every employee should be well aware of where the fire extinguishers are in your office as well as how to use them to put out a small fire. If the employees are trained to put out small fires with the fire extinguishers, the chance of a more destructive fire occurring will be greatly reduced. It never hurts to run fire drills every so often so your employees know where the extinguishers and fire exits are.
Designated Smoking Areas
Smoke only in designated areas, and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.
Sprinkler Systems & Smoke Detectors
Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials. Testing of sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least annually.
Access to Control Panels
Electrical control panels need to have free access maintained so that the electric could be shut off easily.
Emergency exit diagrams should be posted and emergency exits should be well lit with regulation signs.
Employees should have a list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of emergency. Remember that people will often panic in an intense situation; therefore basics such as the company address, phone number, and floor plan should be posted.
Passive structural protection is also a vital component of any fire prevention strategy. It is built into the structure to provide stability and into walls and floors to separate the building into areas of manageable risk compartments. These areas are designed to restrict the growth and spread of fire allowing occupants to escape and offering protection for firefighters. Such protection is either provided by the materials from which the building is constructed, or is added to the building to enhance its fire resistance.