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October 21, 2012

Workplace Fire Safety Tips for Employees and Employers

Fires and explosions caused 143 workplace fatalities in 2011, in addition to damage and loss of business equipment and buildings. These are good reasons every business needs a fire prevention plan. Here are some workplace fire safety tips:


  • fire safety signMake sure all walk ways and corridors are kept clear to allow easy emergency access.
  • Use and maintain wiring, tools and equipment correctly. Keep everything oil- and dust-free.
  • Uncoil extension cords fully before use and use extension cords only for temporary wiring.
  • Do not use equipment that delivers a mild electrical shock, gives off unusual heat or smells odd.
  • Keep workspaces free of waste paper, scraps, dust and other combustibles.
  • Do not use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dust or fibers are present.
  • Ensure trash is emptied frequently enough to prohibit a buildup of combustibles in an area.
  • Make sure you know who to call in an emergency; participate in all drills.
  • Report all fires and emergencies promptly.


If you employ 10 or fewer employees, OSHA does not require your fire prevention plan to be in writing, but it does require employees to be protected from fire hazards. A fire prevention plan that follows OSHA regulations must include the following:
  • A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage Chemical safety signsprocedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(1)];
  • Procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(2)];
  • Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(3)];
  • The name or job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires; and [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(4)]
  • The name or job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(5)]
  • An employer must inform employees upon initial assignment to a job of the fire hazards to which they are exposed. An employer must also review with each employee those parts of the fire prevention plan necessary for self-protection [29 CFR 1910.39(d)].


  1. Thanks for sharing this... the maintenance of the office building should be prompt to replace any cords that are frayed or damaged, especially to old computers that maybe for any reason are still in use. Or much better be replaced by the new one.

  2. It's also important to have your extinguishers serviced once a year.

  3. Yes, Just installation of fire extinguisher is not enough, its maintenance and testing is equally important. Servicing extinguishers ensures that it is in working condition, This help to prevent or limit damage due to fire.

  4. It's always a good idea to inspect fire extinguishers a few times per year as well.

  5. We make it a point to go through our entire warehouse every few months and check the pressure on our fire extinguishers. Great article! People need to be responsible when it comes to matters as sensitive as safety and health.