National Fire Safety Week October 5th -11th.
Fire safety is just as important in our office and educational facilities as it is in our residential buildings. Each year there are approximately 3,340 fires in office buildings throughout the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires amount to more than $112 million in property damage annually. Here is a list of the most common hazards found in our office areas:
- Space Heaters are the number 1 concern in offices. If there is a cold area in a building a work order should be entered to have Facility Services address the concern. One issue with space heaters is they often inadvertently satisfy a thermostat which shuts down the heating system causing more areas to become "cold".
- Extension cords are the number 2 concern. Extension cords are designed to only be temporary wiring (a couple days max). The flat brown or white cords with 2 or 3 outlets on the end are the most dangerous; please use power strips instead. Also cords must never be covered by rugs, placed through walkways or in areas where they can be run over by office chairs. the protective coating will break down over time and can result in starting fires.
- Candles and Incense. Recently our safety team has noticed more candles in offices. The burning of candles and incense is specifically prohibited in all campus buildings. Also some people working on campus are sensitive to artificial scents. Let's help make our environment more comfortable for everyone by not introducing artifical scents from items such as candles.
- Many people bring their own lamps to decorate their office. Please make sure they do not have halogen light bulbs. Halogen bulbs not only consume a substantial amount of electricity, they get extremely hot, so hot in fact that they can start paper or acumulated dust on fire.
Here is a list of the leading causes of fires in office buildings according to the NFPA:
- 29% cooking or cooking equipment
- 12% electrical distribution and lighting equipment
- 11% heating equipment
- 10% intentionally set
- 9% Smoking materials