Preventing workplace fires and keeping workers safe

October 6, 2022

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by Diane Spinner, principal consultant fire services, EFI Global

A fire is the most common type of emergency for which small businesses must plan for. If your business exposures have not yet been carefully evaluated, now is the time.

Every 30 seconds, a fire can double in size — causing everything in a room to burn in as little as three minutes. After about a minute, smoke — the largest cause of fire-related deaths — begins to fill the room, spreading as rapidly as the flames. Once you take two minutes to escape and call 911, it may take almost five minutes for the fire department to arrive. During those seven minutes, the fire will be burning outside of the room it started.

What can begin as a small accidental fire due to human activity or equipment failure can quickly grow out of control and cause unimaginable damage to life and property. During Fire Prevention Week and throughout the year, it’s important to understand the facts and acknowledge the potential risks of fire in your workplace.

10 action items employers can take to prepare for and prevent a building fire:

  1. Conduct a risk assessment and inspect the area.
  2. Confirm that smoke alarms, fire sprinklers and ladders are properly installed and working.
  3. Post clear fire escape plans on every floor.
  4. Educate employees on fire evacuation plans.
  5. Conduct regular emergency drills.
  6. Invest in disaster preparedness and business continuity plans that encompass people, technology and processes.
  7. Check for damaged or overloaded electrical outlets, cords or cables.
  8. Keep workspaces and equipment clean, dry and well ventilated.
  9. Participate in regular emergency drills.
  10. Remove any obstacles from exits and keep flammable objects away from electrical equipment.

Considering how fast fire spreads, protecting buildings against fire is essential. The question is not if but when the unexpected is going to come your way. EFI Global is your partner in every aspect of business — before, during and after a disaster event. For more information, visit

Tags: EFI, EFI Global, Fire, Fire damage, Fire hazard, Fire prevention, Fire protection, fires, Forensic, forensic engineering, Property, Property damage, Safety, safety protocols, View on property, Workplace health, Workplace safety