Loss Control Insights
Winter Fire Safety Tips
Cold weather brings unique challenges when it comes to fire prevention and safety. In addition to your routine safety measures, addressing these specific hazards during colder months is crucial. Here are some winter fire safety tips to help you safeguard your workplace:
Holiday Décor Safety: Addressing Electrical Hazards
When decorating for fall and winter holidays, you often use strings of lights and extension cords. Ensure all holiday lights and cords meet local electrical and fire safety codes and adhere to your company's safety standards. This precaution helps prevent electrical fires and accidents caused by faulty wiring.
Space Heater Safety: Avoiding Fire Risks and Overloads
Small electric space heaters commonly used during winter but can pose risks. Older models without safety features, such as tip-over shut off, may be dangerous. Overloading your electrical system using too many heaters or plugging them into extensions can also lead to fire hazards. Monitor space heater usage, consider safety features and prohibit the use of extension cords to mitigate these risks.
Static Control: Preventing Equipment Fires
Dry winter air can generate static electricity, damaging equipment and leading to fires or explosions, especially in facilities handling flammable substances. To address this hazard, monitor and maintain proper humidity levels within your building to prevent static sparks from igniting.
Sprinkler Riser Rooms: Preventing Freezing Risks
Riser rooms, often located on exterior walls, may need more heating. Insufficient heat may expose the sprinkler system to freezing, compromising fire protection. Ensure these rooms are adequately heated and regularly checked to prevent freezing and maintain fire safety.
Burn Barrel Safety: Minimizing Carbon Monoxide and Explosion Hazards
In some scenarios, burn barrels may serve as the heat source. Depending on their contents, these barrels could pose carbon monoxide and explosion hazards. Implement strict controls on what can be burned, monitor workers to ensure compliance with safety protocols and ensure barrels are placed on a stable surface to prevent tipping.
Electric Shock Prevention: Protecting Workers and Equipment
Wet shoes or boots combined with improperly grounded tools or equipment can lead to severe electric shocks, endangering workers and equipment. Include tools and equipment in your regular maintenance checklist to ensure they are properly grounded. Implement a policy of thoroughly drying footwear before working with electric tools or equipment to reduce the risk of electric shock.
Fire Hydrant Maintenance: Ensuring Firefighting Access
While not a direct fire hazard, buried fire hydrants can impede firefighting efforts. Keep the area around your fire hydrant clean and accessible by clearing snow regularly and marking it with a flag for easy identification. This ensures quick response by the fire department in case of an emergency.
By following these winter fire safety tips, you can address seasonal hazards and maintain a safer workplace during the colder months. Prioritizing fire prevention in the winter is essential for protecting your employees, assets and property.
For businesses or facilities that may experience reduced occupancy during the winter months, it’s essential to consider prepping your building for winter vacancy. Learn more about these steps to ensure comprehensive winter safety.