The potential for fire is present in any workplace. The key is to be aware of the causes and conditions that can cause combustion. If you are prepared, the risk of a workplace fire and its damaging effects to property and workers can be minimized.

Following good housekeeping practices is crucial to fire prevention.

Keep heating and electrical equipment clean, clear, and in good repair.

Regularly clean ducts and fume hood filters.

Keep ovens and ranges clean and free of spilled fats, sugar, sauces, etc.

Keep paper products, aerosols, and other flammable materials away from heating elements.

Store flammable liquids away from heat sources, exits, or escape routes.

To avoid electrically caused fires:

Check or have professionally repaired any appliance or tool with frayed or loose cord. Check, remove, or repair wires or cords that get hot during use.

Avoid running cords or wires under rugs and carpets. Keep cords away from a heat source and keep them out of doorways where they can become worn.

Ensure that fire protection equipment (i.e., sprinklers, smoke/heat detectors, alarms, fire hoses, fire extinguishers, and fire blankets) are maintained, available for use, and not impaired or concealed.

Make sure fire extinguishers are located to correspond to potential risk. Know where they are located and how to use them.

Train in fire prevention and protection,

Make sure you understand company emergency communication and evacuation procedures.

Know the location of fire alarms and the telephone numbers for emergency response personnel.

Report a fire, even if it seems minor. Fire fighters would rather arrive and find nothing to do than be called after it is too late to save individuals or property. Keep in mind that all workers are responsible for preventing fires, but not everyone is expected to fight major fires. Firefighting is best handled by trained professionals.

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