Like all residents of the Charleston area, we here at the library have been stunned and saddened by the loss of nine area firefighters this past Monday night. Like many people, I have felt a sense of wanting to do more to help. As people who go to work at a business every day, one way that we can help honor their memory is to work to improve fire safety awareness at our places of business.
OSHA is one good resource to turn to for the entrepreneur looking to review fire safety plans for their business. Visit their Fire Safety page at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/firesafety/index.html for some excellent resources to help you plan for a fire emergency at your business. OSHA’s site reviews the standards that apply to businesses and help you learn how to apply the standards in your particular case. They even offer a detailed overview of how to plan and implement Evacuation Plans and Procedures, which includes information on how utilize portable fire extinguishers in your workplace.
Here in South Carolina, the Office of the State Fire Marshal provides Engineering and Inspection services to the state. Engineering services include reviewing building plans, technical assistance with fire related questions, and education of local officials and contractors. Inspection services for certain kinds of buildings are also their responsibility. (Please note that most inspection services are handled by local fire departments.)
I am sure that firefighters everywhere would join me in encouraging you to learn more about fire safety at your place of business. Let’s honor the memory of all firefighters who have died while fighting workplace fires by taking the time to carefully re-examine the fire emergency plans at your place of business.