By Staff Sgt. Stuart Bright
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
To prevent your workplace from catching fire, whether that is your desk or on a ship, here are a few safety tips from The Naval District of Washington Emergency Services to prevent a potential fire from starting, and how to minimize damage if one does start.
Extension cords and surge protectors are helpful when needing to plug in more equipment, but when used improperly they can start an electrical fire. When using an extension cord, be sure not to use it for more than eight to 12 hours, or to transfer power from one area to another. Surge protectors can be used for computers, printers and monitors, but should not be used with other surge protectors and extension cords.
Another tip that everyone should follow is to keep clutter to a minimum. Store items in proper storage compartments, not places such as the mechanical room. Excessive clutter can be used to fuel fire, which will make it difficult for the sprinkler system to put out or contain the fire.
“Fire safety and prevention is everyone’s responsibility,” said Moises Colon, Joint Base Anacostia Bolling chief of prevention. “The more all of us get involved in this process the safer we all begin to become.”
Even when following these tips, you should still have an evacuation plan ready to go and post it somewhere so everyone in the room, or building, can know what the evacuation plan is. Place exit lights where people should evacuate out of a building from as well as emergency lights, which should be inspected monthly. Workspaces should also have fire extinguishers ready for use. When inspected, they should be sealed, show no signs of physical damage and the arrow in the gauge should be on green, not red.
“Failure to not follow the safety and fire prevention guidelines is not an option. If we fail to observe and report deficiencies, we fail to keep us all safe,” Colon said.
By observing, reporting and correcting potential hazards that you see are not safe, you are aiding in this process of keeping everyone safe. For more safety tips visit nfpa.org, smokeybear.com, osha.org or contact the JBAB Fire Prevention Office.