Fire accidents in industries are ones of the major business risks. They can cause a business to stop in just a matter of hours or days. No matter how big or small the industries, the impact is the same.
Many companies have to prepare a big amount of money to pay a fire insurance premium to reduce this fire risk.
Besides that, a lot of firefighting facilities needs to be prepared to prevent or protect the company from the risk.
And the good news is that you still have many chances to prevent fire accident from happening, even through a small step.
Major Causes of Fire Accident
According to NPFA, there are five major causes of fire accident. You have to focus your efforts on these five major causes to prevent fire from happening.
- Combustible dust
- Hot work
- Flammable liquid and gases
- Equipment and machinery
- Electrical hazards
But, this does not mean that you can ignore other causes even they are small. You have to take care for every potential fire risk that may turn into fire accident.
How to Prevent Fire Accidents
You should focus you effort on preventive actions. It means taking necessary steps before fire accident happens.
The following tips focus on how to prevent fire accidents in industry:
- Develop employee awareness. If every employee in the company has high level of awareness, your effort will be easier. So, make a program to improve employee’s awareness against fire accident including the usage of safety slogans.
- Avoid hot work at site. Prohibit hot work at the site is best way to prevent fire. Eliminate this necessity by handover it to outside location.
- Keep your workplace clean. Have a house keeping plan and stick with it. This work is simple but effective to prevent fire.
- Use explosion proof electrical equipment. All equipment installed in hazardous area shall be explosion proof type. This is very important in order not to generate spark.
- Have a good training program. This includes fire safety training. Be consistent with the program to keep employees skill and ability at high level.
- Keep one supervisor at site. State in the procedure that one supervisor shall stay at site when a job is in progress.
- Eliminate the usage of flammable material. If it is not possible, substitute the flammable material with less flammable.
- Store flammable and combustible materials properly. Provide proper packaging (leaking-proof), safe storage area and complete fire suppression system.
- Keep a minimum inventory of flammable and combustible materials as low as possible. Do not over your storage area with both kind of materials since it increases the fire hazard level.
- Eliminate ignition sources. This relates with hot work control, electrical hazard control and maintenance activity. Focus on those things
- Have a perfect maintenance program.
- Make sure the grounding system works well. Check the design and have a regular inspection on every grounding system ability. Replace immediately if you find damage grounding system.
- Avoid electrical overload. Sometimes, employees forget to control this hazard. Generally, it occurs when a large number of jobs are done at the same time such as in yearly plant maintenance where the usage of electrical-powered equipment rise significantly with limited power source.
- Get recommendation from fire safety specialist. Thanks to fire safety audit by your fire insurance company. They will dispatch fire safety specialist and expert to assess your plant. So, the audit finding will be highly valuable. Or you can hire fire specialist to inspect your plant if it is not enough.
- Perform fire safety patrol daily. Unsafe condition can be easily found through daily safety patrol. Engage all employees to do this activity every day.
- Avoid explosive atmosphere. Have you hear combustible dust explosion at Powderpart Inc in last 2013? This is a kind of hazard that is associated with explosive atmosphere. Housing keeping and clean up are keys to prevent such condition.
- Prohibit smoking at site. Some company still allow their employees to smoke in the plant site by fixing a limited smoking area with maximum protection and control. But, total prohibition might be the best solution to prevent fire hazard.
- Dispose waste properly. Be aware with ready to burn waste suppose used absorbent containing flammable liquid. Set up a proper way to dispose it safely.
- Keep fire hydrant and fire extinguisher in good condition and in place. When a small fire appears, put it out immediately with proper extinguishing media. So, always maintain fire hydrant and fire extinguisher in good condition and ready to use at any time.