As Christmas approaches, you may have noticed a number of decorations being added to your office space. A large Christmas tree covered in lights and baubles in the reception area, mistletoe hanging above the doorway to the staff kitchen, and tinsel a mile long, covering every computer monitor in sight. Although it’s all in the name of fun, its important to be aware of the fire safety hazards that come along with this change in office scenery.
Below are our top 5 fire safety tips for business owners and commercial buildings this holiday season:
Everyone wants a bargain but when it comes to Christmas lights, getting a good deal could cost you a lot more. Always make sure your lighting decorations are certified with the British Safety Standard sign. If they don’t, your staff may be at risk as there is no guarantee that non certified lighting is safe to use. Spending a few extra pounds on British Safety Standard Christmas lighting can prevent the chance of shocks, sparks and potentially fire.
Although this tip is relevant all year round, during the Christmas period there can be a lot of extra electronic seasonal decorations up around the office, e.g. singing mistletoe, Christmas tree lighting and novelty dancing snowmen. Be sure to not overload sockets or extension cables with these types of things as they can often take a lot of electricity to power them, increasing the risk of an electrical fire.
Also be sure that during periods when no one is in the office, that all lights and plugs are turned off, not only to conserve energy but to prevent a fire in your absence from the building.
As well as making sure they are working, we also advise to buy spare batteries at Christmas to prevent the temptation to remove them from the smoke alarm, only to be used in a new secret Santa gadget. You may intend on putting them back the same day but is it worth the risk of forgetting?
Around this time of year, work can become unorthodox with Christmas tree lighting and decorations being draped from door to door. It is essential that any fire escape routes remain clear and unrestricted by decorations or loose packaging. The space around a doorway for your tree or other decorations may be tempting but in the instance that a fire occurs, everyone in the building is put at risk.
Self explanatory, but regardless of how perfect your secret Santa gift was, or how close you are to your hard drive with your work stored on, you need to vacate the building and not return until the fire has settled. We hope that this situation does not occur, but in order to preserve your life and other members of staff, do not enter the building under any circumstance.