It was about a million years ago that man learned how to make fire. It was a timely decision. By harnessing fire, Homo Erectus was able to survive the cold and fend off predators. Accordingly, he lighted his way through the darkness and widened his chances of finding food. No doubt fire has been largely beneficial to man. Eventually, thousands of years later, man has drastically improved his fire-handling skills, using the heat for cooking food. It seemed a union made in heaven. Unfortunately, today, various industries all over America realize fire has an ugly side that needs to be dealt with.
The incidence of a fire breaking out in an industrial or manufacturing facility has brought untold destruction to industries all over America. From 2011 to 2015 alone, about 37,910 fires were reported gutting industrial or manufacturing facilities. All told, an estimated $1.2 billion worth of properties were lost. Add 16 lives lost and hundreds injured, and you know industrial fires are never a welcome event.
Fortunately, industrial fires are largely preventable. Here’s how you can get a headstart so you won’t have to deal with a full-blown inferno.
Teach Your People Prevention
At the top of your list should be educating your people on fire prevention. It’s a must. Why? Simply because that will minimize the risks of fires gobbling up your industrial facility by a hundredfold.
Workers must know what the causes of fire are. Specifically, the workforce should be able to identify risky instances at work. To note, hot work such as welding, soldering, and burning pose a great fire hazard. Additionally, the presence of combustible dust and flammable liquidsare just some materials that could put your premises at high risk of fire.
In this regard, letting fire experts inspect your facilities to identify fire hazards and do fire risk assessment is wise. You must minimize such risks over time. Or they could be a ticking time bomb to blow up in your face.
Equip Your Facility
Additionally, you must ensure your facility is equipped to contain the fire should it break out. There must be an ample supply of fire extinguishers, amongst other fire containment solutions. We’re talking about water spray systems and gas and/or foam systems. Fire extinguishers should be strategically placed so workers can have access to one whenever a fire breaks out.
On the same token, you cannot overemphasize the importance of large water storage tanks. Easily accessible water is a big boost to your fire protection system. The decision to have one can be crucial in containing the fire – saving lives and your facility in the process.
Teach Your People to Respond
Another key aspect is to prep your people on how to respond in case of fire breaking out. Lives could be saved by doing fire drill training. When panic ensues, decision-making can be blurred. When that happens, containing the fire could become a lot harder, and lives could be lost.
It’s paramount everyone is on the same page when a fire breaks out. This means they should know what to do and what not to do. Emergency response should be practiced now and then.
The first five minuteswhen a fire breaks out is critical. It can define who and what can be saved. It’s the reason why your team must be thoroughly trained. This way, they can respond with confidence and, in the process, reduce the negative impact of a fire crisis effectively.
You can also have a select group of first responders who can direct people and assets to safety. Workers must know how to protect themselves when a crisis ensues. And that includes knowing how to use fire protection equipment with ease.
When your team works hand in hand, you decrease the risk of facility damage if a fire breaks out. Best of all, you save lives.