Don’t Forget About Workplace Fire Safety During the Holidays
Throughout the most wonderful time of the year, it is essential to remember the true meaning of safety. One of the most common accidents that occurs during the holiday season is fire damage. Putting up decorations and cooking and preparing food should be done safely, in order to prevent serious injury.
Identifying Fire Risks
Workplace decorations create a festive holiday experience for employees and customers. With that, Christmas lights, lighted menorahs and other decorations can present potential fire risks.
If a dry pine tree catches fire, it takes less than a minute for it to engulf a room in flames. Christmas lights can get hot enough to burn or ignite other decorations. The cords connecting the lights can fray, leading to an electrical short. And, the rate of fires started by candles rises by 50 percent during the holiday season according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Minimizing the Risk
Fortunately, for every fire-related hazard, there are preventative safety tips for keeping the workplace area festive:
- Make sure that all smoke detectors are working and fire extinguishers are fully charged and easily accessible.
- Be sure that all electrical items are certified by a nationally recognized independent testing lab.
- Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords for damage before using.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices – they can overheat and cause a fire.
- Never try to make a three-prong plug fit into a two-prong outlet.
- Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations unattended before leaving.
- If extension cords are being used:
- Refrain from placing them in high-traffic areas or under rugs, carpets or furniture.
- Never attempt to extend their length by connecting to another one.
- Never nail or staple them to walls – doing so may damage existing wire insulation.
- Don’t place them in walls or ceilings, as this can cause the cords to overheat.
The Gift of Safety
During the holidays, employees and customers appreciate workplace decorations and enjoy company celebrations. Monitoring potential safety risks is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.
-Jennifer Arrison, Loss Control Director at ProSight