Should You Try to Put Out an Office Fire at Work?

Should You Try to Put Out an Office Fire at Work?

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Fire safety is an important part of the overarching workplace safety. Fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment are an obligatory inventory in any business, as well as a residential building. However, who, when and how should use these is usually a bit less defined.

We contacted experts at in order to learn the answers to these questions. If there is a fire in the office, who (if anyone) should attempt to put it out and what are the steps which need to be followed.

Fire Safety Plan

In the shortest way possible, every company needs to have a fire safety plan which details a lot of these things. This plan includes the evacuation plan, the routes which should be taken, the people in charge and a lot of other things.

If your company doesn’t have one, you will need to make one as soon as possible. If a fire safety inspection visits your company and there is no plan in place, you will be fined.

Fire Extinguishers

The fire extinguishers in your company need to be placed in visible and easy to reach places, particularly because they should be readily available in the case of an emergency. However, this is not enough; having a device at hand if you don’t know how to use it is fairly useless in most cases, especially if you are panicking (and most of us would be in a case of a fire).

This is why there are federal regulations which govern this matter, and they state very clearly that the employees who have access to fire extinguishers also need to be trained on how to properly use them. In many cases, using a fire extinguisher improperly can be more dangerous and damaging than not using one at all.

Who Should Try to Put Out a Fire?

If there is a fire, your company’s fire safety plan needs to be put into action. If there are people specifically designated to try to put out a fire, it is up to them to estimate if the fire can be put out by the fire extinguisher, or whether everyone needs to be evacuated.

In any case, evacuation is always the part of the evacuation plan, as is calling the fire department. Even if you manage to put out the fire, calling a fire department is important because they are the experts and they alone can assess whether the fire is thoroughly put out, whether there is any chance of the fire starting again, and what the cause of it was.

Why the Fire Safety Plan Is so Important?

We mentioned a fire safety plan several times. It is one of the most important safety documents in your company. Simply put, this document brings order into the chaos and the panicked state. It will clearly list where each person should go in a case of emergency and exactly what they should do.

In a case of a fire, most people are to be evacuated and quickly, yet orderly. However, there are a few people who need to be trained in using a fire extinguisher or other fire safety equipment and attempt to put out a fire.

Simply having a fire safety plan is usually not enough. In most cases, you will need to have fire safety drills, where everyone needs to play their role and evacuate the premises as soon as possible.

Workplace fires are not particularly common, especially as the fire safety has improved over the years and decades. However, they still do happen, so it pays to be prepared and know what to do if the accident happens.


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