Is your Office Fire Safe?
Is your Office a Fire Trap?
Successful businesses use the services of the Fire Safety Consultants at P&J Fire Services. We filter out the jargon and hype of fire safety to connect you with solutions that will remove the risk of devastating fire in your office.
Impacts of an Office Fire
An Office fire rarely stops at the Office door. The flow on effect can be huge. Loss or damage to stock, loss of Income. Loss of records both paper-based and data, equipment, personal items, business down time, business disruption, insurance claim, personal injury, redundancy of staff if business temporarily closes and more. Many businesses never recover.
How do Office fires start?
Overloading of power points has become common in offices. Most offices have not kept up with the electrical requirements of Technology. Computer(s), printer(s), laminator, Fax machine, Phone commander system, fan, heater, rechargers for phones, recharger for vacuum-cleaner, clock radio, television and drone recharger. And if you don’t have a separate staff kitchen there is also coffee machine, water-cooler, fridge, sandwich toaster, microwave oven and kettle.
Adding power-boards to the equation seems like a good idea, but now we are seeing super powerboards plugged into powerboards. Do your powerboards have cut-off mechanisms? Are you relying on a switchboard overload cut-off switch? Do you have a switchboard overload cut-off switch or do you have an older style switchboard? The tragic reality is that powerboards become overheated the plastic melts and burns inside and spontaneous combustion occurs.
Computers and other Equipment
A fire can start in almost any electrical equipment. In an office which has become overcrowded, air gaps around equipment is regularly compromised. Computers are fitted with fans to keep the inner components cooled. However, if there is inadequate ventilation for the fan, the computer, whether it is desktop or laptop, will overheat and be at risk of component melt, burn and spontaneous combustion.
Why do Office fires Spread?
Overcrowding in an Office Space will fuel a fire very quickly. Papers piled near to powerpoints, powerboards and electrical equipment are a disaster waiting to happen. Chaotic desks, overflowing bins and crushed filing space are simply an open invitation for fire. Fire will find fuel. Paper is an ideal fuel for an office fire. Smoking in workplaces is almost a thing of the past except for small owner occupier businesses who somehow think a fire incident will happen to someone else! Are you or your employer smoking in the office? Perhaps it is time to re-think. The other overlooked fuel sources are office chairs and carpets.
Surviving an Office Fire
In 1990 you had 15 minutes to get out of a burning office. In 2018 you have just 5 minutes. Acrid smoke will kill you. The materials used in equipment and furnishings has changed. The foam in office chairs, the polyester carpets and other office fittings produce particularly harmful smoke when smouldering or burning.
The reduced available escape time highlights some additional issues. Escape routes from the office become more important. Do you have a Front and Back Exit? Is there a clear pathway of 1 metre wide? Or do you have filing cabinets and boxes that you need to squeeze past? If the power goes out will you be able to see? A smoke filled space is incredibly disorientating. It is smart to have a plan, and to practice using it.
Need help for your Office?
For the cost of a phone call to P&J Fire Services you can protect your business and yourself. Like to know more about P&J Fire Services click here
ph 0430 666 877
Ring Peter to discuss your Fire Safety needs
ph 0430 666 877