According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 29 percent of office fires are caused by cooking equipment. If a fire does break out, you may experience extensive, costly damage to your office and put the safety of your staff members at risk. To help keep everyone at your office safe and protected from fire-related accidents, use these four kitchen fire safety tips from the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore.
1. Watch your food while it cooks
At home, people regularly keep an eye on their food while they bake, roast, fry, and more. Unfortunately, at the office, employees seem to wander away from the kitchen or just don't keep an eye on their food. This is where accidents happen.
To ensure that the toaster oven, toaster, microwave, and other office kitchen equipment is working and that your food is cooked appropriately, emphasize that all employees stay near the appliance while food or beverages are being cooked or heated. Employees using the kitchen need to watch for any signs of smoke or overcooking to keep themselves, other coworkers, and the building safe.
2. Replace frayed power cords
Power cords are covered in soft, pliable material that provides insulation while also allowing for flexibility. These soft coverings will eventually become frayed and expose the cord's wires. If this happens, the cord can short out and cause a fire.
To keep everyone safe, encourage employees to keep an eye out for frayed or damaged cords, and replace them as soon as you find them. Never use cords that show signs of damage, including cracks, frays, or exposed wires, as they may be putting the office at risk.
3. Clean your appliances regularly
We all know that cooking can get messy. Over time, your appliances can accumulate grease and other combustible items that can cause a fire if not maintained regularly. Spills should be cleaned immediately to avoid having food particles bake onto each surface. Also, toaster ovens, microwaves, toasters, and other cooking appliances should be wiped down regularly in order to protect against accidental kitchen fires.
4. Train staff how to use a fire extinguisher
No matter how carefully you and your staff practice kitchen fire safety, accidents can still happen. Make sure everyone in the office is properly trained on how to use a fire extinguisher before an accident starts. The faster it can be contained, the safer your staff and building will be.
Other tips and tricks for avoiding accidental office fires
All it takes is one accident that may put fellow employees or the business in harm’s way. To ensure that everyone stays safe, there are some other tips you can use in your office to help avoid a fire in the kitchen and other areas of the office. Some other instructions you can provide to help protect your office against fires include:
- Always plug kitchen appliances directly into a wall outlet, rather than using extension cords
- Always unplug small appliances when not in use
- Follow manufacturer's recommendations while using surge protectors, power strips, adapters, and other equipment
What to do if you experience an office kitchen fire
In the event that you do experience a kitchen fire in your building and cannot safely put it out, evacuate the building immediately. Once you get outside, call emergency services.
Once the fire is out, there are some things you can do after a fire to preserve as much as you can. Then, call on the experts at ServiceMaster Restore to help get your business back up and running as soon as possible. Our fire and smoke damage removal services can get your facility back to pre-loss condition quickly and safely, so you can get back to business.