Workplace needs to be checked for fire safety, too
Mark Sherry photos
National Night Out is observed annually in New Holstein and other communities around the country. It is a night intended to focus on keeping communities safe and crime-free. At New Holstein’s celebration this past August, people got to see just how high the New Holstein Fire Department’s Tower 25 could reach. Below, people gathered around for a closer look after the Theda Star emergency medical helicopter landed in Kiwanis Park.

October is National Fire Safety Month, and there is no better time to increase fire safety awareness in the workplace.

Safety Exchange recently posted a comprehensive list of tips for a fire-safe workplace. Is your organization compliant with these tips?

Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.

Place oily rags in a covered metal container. This waste must be properly disposed of on a regular basis.

Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.

Report electrical hazards. Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment. Never attempt electrical repairs unless you are qualified and authorized.

Maintain free access to all electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels would slow down the shutting down of power in an emergency situation.

Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.

Use all precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.

Help maintain building security to prevent arson fires. Lock up as instructed; report suspicious persons; and don’t leave combustible rubbish where it can be set afire outside the building.

Smoke only in designated areas, and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.

Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials.

Post emergency telephone numbers as well as the company address by the telephone in your station for quick access if a fire were to start in your work area.

Learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Note the tip which stresses the importance of using a fire extinguisher. Hands-on fire extinguisher training is the best way to make sure employees are prepared for fire emergencies.