Ranked as the 5th largest risk to Indian Businesses, Fire has caused more harm than the loss of money or destruction of property. Its the loss of people, loss of the entire way of living, loss of confidence, loss of brand equity and more.
In the survey conducted by FICCI by the name of India Risk Survey, the major reasons for the outbreak of fire in companies are the following:
1. Failure to maintain compliance with the safety norms
2. Lack of regular renewal of the license
3. Infrastructure flaws
4. The close proximity of inflammable materials to the fire causing sources like circuits, smoking rooms, and kitchens.
5. Lack of training to the employees
6. Faulty pieces of equipment, circuits, and wires.
Here, you might bring in your Facility Managers and/or Facility Management Team!
Let’s first check out if and whether your company stands a chance to be engulfed by fire:
Does your company comply with fire safety norms?
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health) insists that every business must train their employees and workers regarding potential fire hazards, which can reduce the overall loss a company/business has to suffer.
It suggests that every company must have a POA (Plan of Action) and a mock drill conducted regularly at every premise. This POA and emergency steps generally differ from business to business and according to the infrastructure, which means that a corporate building or company should have a separate and pre-decided POA worked upon.
OSHA also emphasizes that every business must have fire extinguishers and that every person must be trained to use that.
Does your company have a widely spaced and in close proximity, a fire exit?
One of the most dangerous areas during a fire outbreak are elevators. At such point, one should refrain from using them; suffocation, breakage of wire, entrapment are ways in which several people lose their lives!
A wide exit with water hose pipes wide windows for ventilation can prove to be a bane for a large number of people exiting the building in a state of panic.
Remember, even the most daring and the smartest temporarily lose their ability to assess the situation. This is why, effective planning considering the worst possible scenarios should be brought into consideration and on a paper.
Does your company have separate rooms for machines and chemicals which is situated away from the crowd?
Any company might have copiers, machines, electrical instruments, devices, wiring parts, inflammable chemicals which might be used for official work, infrastructural repair and maintenance or for cleaning purpose. Such elements pose a great threat with respect to a fire outbreak and have to be contained in a room which is designed with fire-proof elements and has SOP to contain if a fire breaks out.
Does your company have water sprinklers at each and every location in and around the office premise?
It is the most common form of fire containment procedure – every premise should have overhead water sprinklers which are smoke sensitive. This is the perfect and one of the most basic forms of protection.
Does your company conduct regular pieces of training to combat fire?
Mock drills and hands-on training on handling the extinguisher, volunteer training, explaining the POA to each and every employee during induction process should be an absolute must. These processes should be documented and assessments should be taken to understand if employees can handle situations and know the exact POA.
Does your company have an emergency stand-by team skilled and trained for emergency situations?
It might sound unnecessary, but during a fire when there is panic around, it is important some people from within the organization manage the crowd until the fire brigade arrives. This is important to avoid panic, stampede and for providing proper guidance/directions to the crowd.
Does your company have all the emergency numbers listed at every corner of the premise?
Confused? This comes in handy when the crowd is rushing outside and the presence of all the important numbers in ‘someone’s diary’ when that diary might have already turned to ashes. The presence of important contact numbers at every nook and corner helps any person quickly get in touch with fire department, ambulance, hospital, etc.
Does your company have dedicated personnel catering to the regular maintenance checks and safety norms management?
Hey Facility Team! There you are! Does this point seem familiar to you?
Regular checks of your company premise and ensuring that the company premise is fire-proof is one of the most important tasks that a Facility Manager has to undertake. Maintenance, filling the loopholes and regulated auditing of the premise reduces the chances of an outbreak in the first place.
Is your company building/premise insured against fire damage?
This is important to ensure that a company lessens the cost of the overall damage. Redemption of the loss from the Insurance company can help save more than a few bucks which can help reinstate the business.
If you have maximum answers of ‘YES’ to the above questions, fret not! Your company is fire – safe as of now. However, continue the good work and seek consultation from a Compliance Consultancy for 360 – degree solutions.
If the answers to the above questions have either been a mix of ‘YES’ and ‘NO’, there are several loopholes that exist in your company’s premises that need a look.
For more information, you can get in touch with a Compliance and Health Expert at +91 8291631145 who can carefully analyse and guide your company with preventive measures!