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  1. Installing the correct equipment in the first place and adhering to NFPA/OSHA standards

Most industrial facilities are required to have a fire safety system (source). The foundation of having an effective fire prevention system is to have the correct equipment in the first place, in hopes that a fire safety/suppression system would not be so heavily depended on. The risk of a fire is much lower if the right measures are already in place. Each facility and use case is different, so consider specialized monitoring systems for specific equipment or scenarios. Making sure these systems are holding up to NFPA regulations is a necessity, and truthfully can be more of a potential problem if guidelines aren’t followed. 

Nevertheless, it is important to have fire extinguishers and suppression systems in the proper places.

2. Having a comprehensive plan (safety based & oriented towards employee response)

In addition to having the right preventive measures in place, they are only as good as the employees who utilize them. Having proper training established for employees is essential in ensuring the systems are utilized properly, and are capable of accomplishing their responsibilities. Identify specific employees / roles that are responsible for each step of safety maintenance. If an accident does happen they should be certain about the next steps that need to be taken.

Employees’ wellbeing should be the pinnacle of the safety plan, and to assure their safety, a well designed emergency plan is necessary. Building on top of next steps to be taken in the event of an emergency, sometimes evacuation is the only option left. In this worst case scenario, proper exit strategy planning is needed which includes signage, lights, and a clear route to the nearest fire exit. 

3. Safe storage / Hazard Identification

Checking with OSHA and other safety organizations to make sure that proper guidelines are being followed. In industries where different chemical agents, fuel storage, or other hazardous materials are commonly used, workers need to be aware of the potential risks. Storing these hazardous materials in a safe way is the easiest form of preventative action out there. Just thinking ahead can save assets and even lives.

4. Regular inspection and testing of equipment

It happens. Safety equipment can degrade and potentially not work as intended. Another critical avenue of ensuring safety in the workplace is to perform regular inspections. Performing tests and even practicing safety drills can help identify potential problems in the workplace, and help ready employees to know how to act in the case of an emergency.

5. Tying it all together to ensure all areas are covered and communicate well with each other

    A good accident prevention system is a complete one, that can communicate seamlessly with all of its components. A crucial part of this system is heat detection and temperature monitoring, that acts as the first line of notification when things start to go awry. They are continuous detection systems that work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be integrated into fire suppression systems, safety monitoring systems, and can even alert firefighter personnel immediately in the event of an emergency. 

    Making sure all fire detection systems, suppression systems, and data systems are all communicating properly ensure the best chances to mitigate disasters. Not to mention that encouraging employees to voice their input on new safety practices or concerns is a great way to fine tune your entire systems.

    6. Embracing new technology practices

    Part of keeping up with innovation of the industry is to embrace new technologies that present themselves. AI program popularity has skyrocketed recently, and it would be a worthwhile consideration to see if they can be implemented into the company’s operations. Firefighting drones have also reached the spotlight, as they are incredibly useful in large scale operations. These flying fire suppression systems can respond rapidly to the scene and begin to combat the fire situation, reducing the reaction time greatly. 

    Another brilliant product is thermal sensing automatic water cannons. As shown in this video, they are almost completely autonomous at putting out emerging fires from up to 30m away. Other potentially useful options include cloud computing software combined with IoT technology that maintain the ability to overwatch multiple facilities / operations from a single point. 

    We hoped you enjoyed our content today. Having a comprehensive safety plan is essential for running a safe work environment; protecting both your workers and assets. For more ways to improve on Industrial Safety, be sure to check out the other blogs on our site. If you would like to meet with a Senkox team member, fill out the form below!

    Sources:
    https://vanguard-fire.com/fire-protection-tips-for-industrial-buildings/
    https://vanguard-fire.com/4-fire-safety-tips-for-manufacturing-plants/
    https://www.frontierfireprotection.com/10-ways-prevent-fire/
    https://www.totalfiregroup.org/10-fire-safety-tips-workplace/
    https://www.cityfire.co.uk/news/10-ways-to-prevent-fire-in-warehouses-factories/
    https://www.cityfire.co.uk/news/fire-extinguishers-types/
    https://www.osha.gov/etools/evacuation-plans-procedures/emergency-standards/fire-prevention
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214157X22007195#sec5
    https://www.jouav.com/blog/drones-in-firefighting.html