As an employer, one of your worst nightmares is having a fire breakout at your work site. Hopefully this will never happen, but in case it does, you must equip your workplace with a proper fire detection system. It is also essential for employees to receive training about what to do if a fire happens, including quick and efficient evacuation methods, and if applicable, how to use onsite firefighting equipment.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires every workplace to have enough emergency exits to get all employees out of the building promptly. All exit routes must be unobstructed and clearly marked with exit signs. While having portable fire extinguishers onsite is always a good idea, you are not required to do so. However, if you do, you must train your employees on how to use them.
OSHA Guidelines for Fire Detection Systems
To help keep your worksite safe, OSHA has developed a set of standards for automatic fire detection systems, designed for compliance with guidelines set by the agency.
Installation and Restoration
All devices and equipment must be used for their intended purposes. All equipment should be restored to proper operating conditions as soon as possible following each fire alarm or test of the system.
Maintenance and Testing
Except during repairs, systems must remain fully functional at all times. Equipment must be tested regularly and properly maintained by a trained professional.
Protection of Fire Detectors
Outdoor fire detection equipment must be properly sheltered from the elements and all systems should be protected from harmful mechanical or physical impact.
All systems must be equipped to properly control or extinguish a fire and alert employees of the fire in time to safely evacuate.
For additional information on fire protection standards, consult the OSHA website.
There’s nothing more important than the health and safety of your workers. It’s your responsibility to keep them safe on-the-job, hopefully protecting everyone from harm in the event that a fire does happen.
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