HOW SAFE IS YOUR WORK SPACE?
FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR THE WORKPLACE
We spend our waking hours and devote a considerable amount of our time in our offices each day. But are we aware of the requisite protocols in case of an unforeseen fire incident or how fire-ready our office complex is?
The Kamala Mills fire that shook Mumbai city in December 2017 sparked a movement to bring about stringent compliance by restaurant establishments that brazenly flout rules. But have we ever paused for one minute and thought about fire safety in the place where we spend the maximum number of our waking hours day after day? Do we know if our office is fire compliant?
With towering office buildings and co-working spaces attracting a huge number of work force, isn’t it necessary to know the basics considering so many lives are at stake?
From the developers of some of the largest business parks in the country, here are the things you need to know and do to seek fire safety in workspaces:
EMPLOYEES SHOULD FOLLOW THESE FIRE SAFETY TIPS:
Check if fire alarm boxes are provided on your floor
Read the operating instructions on how to activate a fire alarm
Read the operating instructions displayed on the fire extinguishers provided on your floor
Keep a lookout for the nearest exit on your floor
Check for the assembly point on the ground floor in case of an emergency (check with your Fire Warden/Deputy Fire Warden)
REPORT ALL AND ANY OBSTRUCTIONS TO THE CONCERNED PERSON:
If any exit door/route is obstructed by loose materials, goods, boxes
If any staircase door, lift lobby door that does not close automatically or does not close completely
If any push button fire alarm point or fire extinguisher is obstructed, damaged or apparently out of order
If the refuge area is obstructed with stored material
*Report all of the above to your Fire/ Deputy Fire Warden.
PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES BY KNOWING HOW TO USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER:
Pull the pin to discharge the extinguisher
Aim at the base of the fire
Squeeze the top handle or lever that will release the pressurized extinguishing agent in the extinguisher
Standing at a safe distance, sweep from side to side until the fire is completely out
Break the glass of the nearest push button fire alarm and push the button.
Leave the floor immediately by the nearest staircase
Do not try to use elevators
Do not go to washroom/toilet or any enclosed area.
Do not run or shout or panic
Douse the fire with extinguishers provided on your floor only if you are trained in how to use this. Take guidance from your Fire Wardens
Do not stop to collect personal belongings
Close all the doors behind you, if all have evacuated
Keep the lift lobby and staircase doors shut
Report to your assembly area
IN CASE THE AREA GETS SMOKE LOGGED:
Do not panic
Drop to the floor and try to crawl out
Tying a wet handkerchief around your nose and mouth, helps in breathing comparatively fresh air and stops you from inhaling all that smoke
If the fire is outside your office and the exit is blocked by heat and smoke, close the door and seal the crevices around the door with a wet cloth, so that the smoke does not enter inside.
Call for help through phone, or signal/shout for attention from the window
The most important tip in case of a fire is to stay calm and follow the protocol. A calm and composed mind will allow a smooth evacuation process. Apart from that, flagging off any potential fire hazards will allow the concerned authorities to take appropriate action and prevent any mishaps.
K Raheja Corp is the creator of Mindspace Business Parks, some of the largest co-working spaces across India.
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