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Whether you are the Head Honcho or one of the all-important cogs that makes the wheels of efficiency and profitability turn smoothly you have some measure of responsibility for keeping your workplace safe. Many fire departments provide special training for businesses. As the slogan goes, learn not to burn!

Employees in small and large businesses have responsibilities related to fire and life safety. Employers and supervisors must be certain their co-workers are well informed, trained and prepared. Fire can happen anytime anywhere. Every business has potential fire hazards. All employees should keep fire protection and fire and life safety near the top of their list of concerns.

Perhaps your fellow workers should conduct a survey to gather ideas about potential hazards unique to your workplace. Meanwhile, here’s a list of things every business should consider:

  • Does your workplace have a fire safety plan?
  • When was the last time your fire safety plan was reviewed and updated?
  • Is the staff trained based on the plan?
  • Do you have a well-rehearsed evacuation plan?
  • Do employees know where to gather after an evacuation?
  • Does your workplace or business take advantage of fire and safety services training provided by the fire department?
  • Are differently abled employees prepared and capable of evacuating safely?
  • Are their fellow employees ready to assist them if necessary?
  • Are your local fire protection professionals aware of any potential hazards in your workplace?
  • Do you have a functioning and regularly tested fire alarm system?
  • Do employees know how to activate the fire alarm?
  • Are employees familiar with the sound emitted by the fire alarm system?
  • Are smoke detectors and sprinkler systems in good working order?
  • Are electrical outlets overloaded?
  • Are heat generating office machines and other devices placed safely and operated according to manufacturer’s instructions?
  • Are flammable materials labeled correctly and stored safely?
  • Are your stairways uncluttered and safe?
  • Are your hallways and passageways kept free of flammable materials and clutter?
  • Are all exits clearly marked and free from obstructions?
  • Do employees know what to do when they smell smoke?
  • Do employees know not to use elevators if a fire breaks out?
  • Do smokers on your staff practice fire safety?
  • Are employees trained to use fire extinguishers?
  • Do employees know a fire extinguisher is only effective on small fires?
  • When was the last time your fire extinguishers were inspected?