There’s a gap between at-home and workplace fire safety knowledge.
While stop, drop, and roll! is an elementary school mantra and every homeowner has had to fan the fumes of a burnt pizza from the smoke detector, there’s a serious gap in employees’ fire safety knowledge between the home and the workplace. The more demanding the environment, the more comprehensive your fire safety strategy should be, and manufacturing facilities have a unique set of concerns.
From the corporate office to the plant floor, every part of the building must be considered before, during, and after the build-out process to ensure that your plans exceed compliance. Beyond the physical layout, promoting a culture that respects fire safety standards is key to a functional disaster plan.
Start with consistent standards
To close the gap between common sense and specifics, ensure that employees start out with a uniform rundown of safety standards. While some may have existing knowledge, not everybody will be on the same page and incorporating a fire safety plan into orientation puts your workforce on even footing.
Beyond posting evacuation plans in legally-required locations, take a moment to go over the best paths of egress and physically show employees the locations of exits, fire alarms, detection systems, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers. Don’t forget to explain the differences between extinguishers— the chemicals that work on one fire won’t work on every one and the dynamic nature of a manufacturing plant can cause a number of fire types.
Maintain this knowledge and keep your employees on the right path by conducting routine fire drills, ideally at times when the building is fully-staffed and across different shifts, if applicable. Smoke detectors and other indicators, whether small units or building-wide systems, should be checked both by personnel as well as local fire authorities. This includes sprinkler systems, which should be optimized with either a high-pressure water-driven system or a chemical foam that is well-suited to your industry.