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Health and Safety Update: Good Housekeeping to avoid fires

As you know, Community Health Partnerships complete annual fire risk assessments in the communal and common areas of each of their buildings.

One of the main hazards that is found on many fire risk assessments is poor housekeeping. Below are some helpful tips on how to manage your building:

  • Keep your distance – there should be at least 50cm clear distance from the ceiling to any combustibles on a top shelf. 
  • Stockcheck – do not overstock, reduce your deliveries. This change will help stop a build-up of stock items. In turn, you will be able to manage any the expire dates of your stock.
  • Remember the fire triangle – Oxygen, fuel and ignition are the three elements you should have in mind. Take a look in storage areas and assess wherever some items need removing to lower the risk.
  • Fuel sources include paper, cardboard, files or fabric. Ignition sources could be hand gel, or flammable chemicals. Store all flammable chemicals including hand gel in a metal cabinet.
  • Low level housekeeping issues – For instance, it could be that you have a kitchen appliance in your office space. These must all be stored unused in the kitchen areas provided, electrics in the office space are not the same electrics within a kitchen area. Therefore, there is a possibility electrics will overheat and eventually set on fire.
  • Under desks there will be accumulation of dust, boxes and carrier bags that have been stored there over a period of time. Other items such as your bin and maybe even a heater may also be there. Please be sure to clear under your desk to help prevent a fire.
  • Daisy chaining happens when one extension lead or more is plugged into another. This action means that instead of only having 1 plug running from a socket, there are many more which will make the electrical currents work harder to get power to all the plugs and items plugged in and is likely to overheat so Daisy chaining must be stopped immediately. The best option is not to use extension leads at all and get additional sockets added.
  • Do not wedge your fire doors open as the fire will easily spread to areas that are considered safe such as escape routes and refuge areas.
  • When you finish for the day always unplug and switch off all your electrical equipment.
  • When you start your day, always do a visual check on your electrical equipment and make sure they are in good order and no wires damaged or that you can see any wires. Report any damaged cords and do not use unplug them and dispose of them.

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