Spreading the fire safety message this Christmas

By Mark Gowans, managing director, Wormald Australia

Christmas is fast approaching and I’m sure your planning is well underway for the holiday season, whether it’s finalising work projects or buying last minute gifts.Christmas_Wormald fire safety

While we get into the Christmas spirit, it’s important to highlight that this time of year is one of Australia’s peak fire seasons. With plenty of distractions over the holidays, it’s easy to leave a barbecue burner running or forget to turn the Christmas tree lights off before going out. Have you taken time to consider what you need to do to stay fire safe?

Wormald has partnered with the Fire Foundation (www.firefoundation.org.au) to remind householders of the importance of staying fire safe over the Christmas season. For those who are not aware, the Fire Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which provides support to fire and burns victims around Australia. Wormald supports the work of the Fire Foundation and shares one of its main objectives – to educate the Australian public on fire safety and fire prevention.

The Christmas fire safety message is important for both home and business owners. Businesses will decorate their premises with colourful light displays and Christmas trees. With many premises left unattended over the break, it’s essential that extra fire safety measures are taken.

If you’re a business owner or manager, now is a good time to undertake a ‘risk assessment’ of your premises. This will help identify potential fire hazards and enable you to take the necessary precautions. Consider the following fire safety checklist before you close for the Christmas break:

  • Take some time to research and select fire protection products that carry the correct certification, approvals and/or ratings
  • Install an effective alarm and evacuation system
  • Ensure all fire protection equipment is positioned correctly
  • Keep fire sprinkler heads free from obstruction
  • Do not store combustible material such as cardboard boxes and paper near sources of heat or ignition
  • Ensure flammable liquids and materials are stored safely
  • Check that electrical appliances, equipment and machinery are in good condition and free from obvious defects/exposed wiring
  • Do not overload electrical circuits and extension cords
  • Ensure machinery and appliances are switched off when not in use
  • Organise appropriate fire safety and evacuation training for staff and ensure evacuation procedures and fire escape plans are shared with staff
  • Exit doors should be unlocked, clearly marked and free from obstruction
  • Exit signs must be illuminated and emergency lights operating
  • Regularly check your premises to make sure it’s safe and secure.

I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas break and wish you all the best for 2013.

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