Engaging employees in developing a fire prevention plan may make them more proactive in workplace fire safety.

Is a Fire Prevention Plan Needed in Your Workplace?

Health & Safety Safety

According to OSHA, a fire prevention plan can benefit every workplace. Here are some of the benefits of engaging employees while creating your plan.

A fire prevention plan may be one of the most valuable investments you can make in your business, as a fire is one of the most catastrophic events that can occur in a workplace. When Benjamin Franklin established the first fire department in the U.S. in 1736, he stated that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and his words are as true today as they were then.

The Tenets of a Fire Prevention Plan

Although federal, state, or local laws may not required every business to have a fire plan, OSHA goes a step further and encourages all employers to have plans to prevent fires. Among OSHA’s various publications, OSHA standard 1910.39 Fire Prevention Plans and the OSHA Fire Prevention eTool suggest that a fire plan include the following:

  • An inventory of materials that are potential fire hazards, including proper handling and storage procedures for those materials.
  • The type of fire protection equipment or systems used to control each major hazard.
  • Housekeeping procedures to control accumulation of flammable and combustible materials.
  • Procedures for maintenance and control of heat-producing equipment to prevent ignition of combustible materials.
  • Procedures for controlling ignition sources such as smoking, welding and burning.
  • Identification of employees responsible for maintaining equipment and systems installed to prevent fires, and identification of employees responsible for control and accumulation of combustible and flammable materials.
  • Training for employees on the potential fire hazards to which they may be exposed.

These tips and suggestions from OSHA on designing and implementing a plan are available in OSHAcademy’s 62-page guide, which is available as a free download.

As you’re completing your emergency plan, don’t forget to start with a fire prevention plan. Work to educate your employees not only on their own safety requirements in their jobs, but also on the prevention and emergency action plans so that everyone is promoting a culture of safety in the workplace.

Lanny Floyd
Lanny Floyd

For over 30 years, Lanny Floyd has challenged the status quo of electrical safety in the workplace. His work has advanced the application of human factors engineering, electrical technology and safety management systems in preventing occupational electrical injuries. He has published more than 70 technical papers and articles and given more than 150 presentations at conferences, seminars and webcasts on occupational electrical safety.