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Fire prevention tips could spare lives, save money

Each year, according to OSHA, workplace fires kill more than 200 people and injure over 5,000, not to mention the cost of more than two billion dollars in damages they cause. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) urges businesses to keep fire safety in mind and offers the following workplace fire safety tips:

  • Ensure emergency exits are adequate in number, size and location;
  • Provide adequate clearance and circulation of air between combustible material and hot surfaces or heat sources such as copy machines, word processors and computers;
  • Design an emergency fire plan with escape procedures and emergency escape route assignments;
  • Provide automatic sprinkler protection and/or heat, smoke and fire alarm systems. All systems must be regularly maintained and tested;
  • Have the local fire department come to your workplace at least once a year to provide a review and update on fire safety and proper evacuation.

To further provide workplaces fire safety tips, ASSE offers the "Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering." The book is available on ASSE's Web site, www.asse.org, under publications.

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