Due to the high risk environment of many factories, they are at a greater risk of experiencing a fire emergency. Most factory fires break out when there are unforeseen issues with on-site equipment, or can be down to human error or risk-taking.
The level of fire risk within a factory building will depend on the type of work being carried out by the business, but also on the number of staff employed on the premises, and any fire hazards present at times where the building may be unmanned, such as overnight, weekends and during holidays.
Lets look at some of the most common fire hazards that factory owner face, and how to safely address them.
Use of flammable substances
It is common to have machinery used on the factory floor that use flammable substances. Should a machine catch fire, it is usually down to either poor maintenance, sub-standard repairs, or through an operators error.
As a business owner, you should ensure that all staff that operate machinery have proper training and adhere to set procedures that will help to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire breaking out. All machines should be well maintained by a qualified specialist.
Factory Store Rooms
Having a good stock inventory system in place is essential in a factory store room, especially when you are handling materials that pose a fire risk. Having a chaotic store room that is over packed with materials can be very dangerous. Storing a large amount of flammable materials together is never a good idea, and anything that is particularly risky should be kept separate from your other stored goods.
Ensure that your store rooms have adequate fire and smoke detectors fitted, and that your store room is protected by a fire door. This would give you an early warning to evacuate should a fire break out and the fire door would help to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading.
Many factory premises provide a canteen, staff room or kitchen areas where equipment used can pose a fire risk. Electrical equipment such as kettles, microwaves and toasters can cause electrical fires, and there may be human risk involved where cooking food is left unattended.
The risk is lessened when you have staff that have had some basic fire safety training. You should also ensure that the correct fire suppression equipment is in place to enable staff to tackle and put out a small blaze, such as fire blankets and fire extinguishers suitable for use on hot cooking fats.
Fire Safety Training for staff
Although it helps greatly if you have the appropriate fire safety equipment installed and available on your factory premises, you also need to ensure that your employees know how to use it. If your staff are unsure about the correct way to use fire extinguishers and other equipment, then you should organise some fire safety training sessions on a regular basis to allow as many employees as possible to attend them.
You can have an independent fire risk assessment carried out on your factory premises should you be concerned about fire hazards on your premises.