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  • Fire Safety Tips Every Employee Should Know

    The second week in October, National Fire Prevention Week, offers a good reminder that no industry is immune to fire.

    In a work setting, whether an office or highly combustible industrial workplace like a factory, warehouse or manufacturing plant, housekeeping is crucial to fire prevention. Areas with hazardous materials, combustible dust, arc welders or flammable liquids require special attention.

    Following are some basic tips every employee should know:

    • Keep combustible materials in the work area only in amounts needed for the job; store the rest in a safe area
    • Store quick-burning materials in designated locations away from ignition sources
    • Change clothes if they become contaminated with flammable liquids
    • Keep passageways and fire doors free from obstructions; stairwell doors should be kept closed
    • Never store items in stairwells
    • Keep materials at least 18 inches (24 to 36 inches is recommended) away from automatic sprinklers, fire extinguishers and sprinkler controls
    • Clearance of 3 feet is required between materials and the ceiling; if stock is piled more than 15 feet high, clearance should be doubled
    • Don't overload circuits, turn off machines at the end of the day and report hazards in electrical areas immediately
    • Make sure your fire prevention plan is in writing and available for employees to view, which is an OSHA requirement if an organization has more than 10 employees

    Is the Message of Fire Safety Falling on Deaf Ears?

    Sometimes a fire-safety message can become "white noise" to employees. After it's repeated multiple times in the same way, they tend to tune it out. But research shows when employees are interested and engaged, they retain the information.

    This training specialist offers some advice on keeping fire safety training interesting:

    • Combine traditional classroom learning with hands-on training
    • Make the training imitate real life by conducting R.A.C.E. training (Rescue, Alert, Confine, Extinguish)
    • Set up scenarios in places employees face the greatest risk from fire (kitchen, shop floor, etc.)
    • Add authenticity to your training by using a non-toxic smoke generator or a digital fire

    Bring Safety Home

    National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8-14, focuses on evacuation with the theme, "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out."

    The National Fire Protection Association estimates that a fire occurs every 24 seconds. Seven people die every day in home fires, but despite this threat, most families don't practice home fire drills. Home Fire Drill Day, a safety observance developed by Nationwide in partnership with NSC and other organizations, will be held at the end of Fire Prevention Week, on Oct. 14, 2017. This is a great time to take advantage of tools and resources offered at

    Top Causes of Home Fires

    The NFPA reports that the top causes of home fires are cooking, smoking, heating equipment, arson and electrical problems. The American Red Cross reports children under the age of 5 are twice as likely to die in a home fire than anyone else. Here are a few tips to keep your family safe:

    • About 300 people a year are killed and $280 million in property damage is caused by children playing with fire; keep matches, lighters and other fire-starters out of reach of children
    • Working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a house fire in half, so make sure your smoke alarms have fresh batteries
    • Practice two ways out of every room in the house
    • Learn how to use your fire extinguisher
    • Leave your house and call for help; do not go back inside to help someone else

    The National Safety Council provides more tips on fire safety.

  • 5-minute Safety Talk

    Does your organization have fire extinguishers? Do you know where they are or how to use them? Portable fire extinguishers can be very effective in combating small fires, but only if you know how to use them. This 5-minute Safety Talk covers the types of fire extinguishers, proper placement and other fire safety considerations.

    2-Minute Safety Video

    Start your next safety meeting with this 2-minute safety video to quickly engage and educate your employees on fire prevention in the workplace.

  • Safety Spotlight - October 2017



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National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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