You might not think of an office as having much of a fire risk, but a fire can break out just about anywhere and for reasons that might surprise you. Many offices overlook simple fire safety tips that could otherwise keep them safe and avoid their risk of a fire. To ensure this isn't happening in your office, note a few of those tips here.
1. Don't overload outlets
Overloaded outlets can cause electrical fires, as the wires behind the outlet may be trying to deliver too much electricity in order to support the demands of all those cords and plugs. In turn, they can become bare and frayed and allow a spark to ignite the building materials around the outlet. Avoid using multi-cord plugs in outlets for your office, and if you have too many things you need plugged into one area, have an electrician run new wiring for added outlets instead.
2. Mind your decorations
If you decorate your office for the holidays or any reason, you need to be careful of the decorations you use. Note if your office has the proper voltage for lights and other items you plug in so you don't overload the circuits. Keep flammable items like a Christmas tree or paper decorations away from outlets, space heaters, and the like. Be cautious of lights outside your building; always ensure you only use exterior lights and cords, as snow, rain, and other moisture can easily cause shorts and electrical fires with interior lights.
3. Clear away the clutter
Clutter can increase the risk of a fire because you might see papers get too close to space heaters or mug warmers on desks, and they ignite. The same is true of an overloaded wastebasket. Keep the office clear of paper clutter and other such items to reduce this risk.
4. Practice good housekeeping
Since an overloaded wastebasket can mean an increased risk of fire, be sure they're emptied regularly. Don't store trash uncovered outside your building; it only takes one person to toss a cigarette into the trash without first extinguishing it properly, and a fire is started. Keep a lid on the outside trash to avoid cigarettes and other flammables from starting a fire in the bin. You also want to ensure you contain flammable liquids; in an office, if you allow cooking and your employees use any type of grease or oil, be sure it's disposed of in proper trash receptacles and not dumped in the same trash as papers and other flammable materials.
Don't forget to supply your office with adequate fire equipment.