The holidays are upon us, and with them, opportunities abound to enjoy celebrations with family, neighbors, colleagues, canines and friends. As you plan your 2018 holiday season, please consider these office safety tips, designed to help you safely make the most of this festive time of the year.
10 Holiday Office Safety Tips
When decorating, be mindful of the risk of fire hazard.
- Never leave sources of fire or heat unattended.
This includes candles, decorative holiday lights and more. Candles start two out of five home decoration related fires. When you leave the office at night or for the weekend, make sure holiday lights are turned off.
- If your office has a fireplace.
Make sure the gas is turned off when people no one is in the building.And never burn wrapping paper in the chimney, as most contain toxic chemicals. And you might want to keep the fireplace cool anyway so Santa Claus can come down without obstruction.
- Don’t overload electrical sockets.
According to the S. Fire Administration (USFA), one out of every four Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. While it may be time consuming to consider voltage and load, the investment of time will be well worth it, even if the tree you are decorating is in your office instead of at your residence.
- Carefully consider tree selection and placement.
A heat source positioned too close to Christmas trees causes one in every four Christmas tree fires. In office spaces, which are often tight on communal space, minimize risk with minimalism. In small spaces, less is more. That’s especially true in our doghouse. And if the founder of your company chose the office tree decades ago, consider replacing it with something that meets or exceeds modern safety standards.
- When in doubt, toss it out
This is a good rule of thumb to follow not just during the holidays, but all year long. In fact, it applies to any item you pull out of the holiday box. For example, your office box could contain asbestos-based artificial snow, which was popular in the 1940s. You won’t find it in stores today because of the associated safety hazard. If something is so old you can’t recognize it, you’re probably safest to leave it alone. New decorations are affordable and fun anyway.
- Keep emergency areas accessible and operational.
Don’t obstruct walkways with large holiday displays or empty boxes. Emergencies happen even in December. And never hang items such as garland from sprinklers in ceilings. This could impede their functionality.
- Don’t block fire extinguishers or evacuation instructions
While your regular office décor likely allows for easy access to safety equipment, you may be tempted to cover fire extinguishers with decorations. Don’t do it. Safety should come first, even during the holidays.
- Never use damaged accessories
This includes cords, lighting sources, etc. Frayed cords and cracked bulbs could short and pose a hazard. Nip risk in the bud by replacing them with modern equipment.
- Go “non-flammable”
When purchasing new holiday decorations, choose items made from non-flammable materials. While this seems like a no-brainer, if it were, items wouldn’t need highly visible warning or care labels. I think every cat should come with a warning label.
- Keep ceiling water sprinklers clear
Though it may be tempting, never hang items such as garland from sprinklers in ceilings. This could impede their functionality.
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