Heat, drought and fire: How safety managers can do their part to prevent on-site incidents

Right now, as I write this, federal firefighters are battling several explosive blazes in California. And back in July, a fire at a scrapyard broke out, prompting the “largest response” in the history of the Phoenix Fire Department. 

The common denominator? Ultra-dry conditions can really spell trouble and that means that facility operators and safety managers need to be especially vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their sites.  Under their leadership, workers should be empowered to take steps to increase safety and minimize risk on the job. Here’s how:

1.  Safety managers should take ownership and responsibility for all work done on premises.

Supervisors should have agency over each job, allowing work to start if and only if the conditions are safe and workers are properly trained. It’s also on them to confirm workers are aware of proper response to incipient fires and the correct evacuation route. 

2.  Rely on best practices for pile management. 

Large fires result from large amounts of fuel.  That’s why it’s important to keep them small and wet, to decrease the chance of an incident. 

3. Partner with your local fire department. 

Each facility presents unique hazards that put their employees and responding firefighters at risk. In some instances, certain emergencies could negatively impact the surrounding community and environment. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure that your local department is adequately prepared to respond to and mitigate all hazards safely and appropriately. They don’t want any surprises. That way, if and when a fire occurs, they’re well aware of the facility and its surroundings and can more effectively respond to the incident.

Remember, safety is everyone’s business, year-round and in any weather conditions. Always ensure you have a method of extinguishing a fire in the incipient stage. In the event of a fire, notify the local fire department immediately.

These are unprecedented times — don’t forget that IC Fire Prevention is uniquely qualified to assess facilities for deficiencies and engage employees in the fire prevention process. Give me a call at (260) 241-2256 or send me a message at kkunze@icfireprevention.com to learn more.

In safety,

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