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HVAC Safety Tips: Stop Holiday Office Fires Before They Happen

The holidays are almost here. That means more people will be on vacation, fewer people will be working throughout the building. But if you are working, there’s a good chance you’ll be celebrating in some fashion. Office parties seem to occur weekly at this time of the year. How does all this lead to higher potential fire risk?HVAC Safety Tips: Stop Holiday Office Fires Before They Happen

According to FEMA, over 11 percent of all nonresidential fires are caused by unintentional or careless behavior. In other words, people don’t think, and it sets off fire hazards. How can you keep your office safe this holiday season?

Blocked vents

A lot happens in an office this time of year. You might box up old files and ready them for storage. The slowness of the holiday season is the perfect time to get filing completed. Many offices put up holiday decorations and move furniture around to make room.  When you block vents, it poses a fire hazard by blocking or restricting air flow. This can be a major fire hazard in commercial HVAC equipment.

Space heaters

In every office, there is one person who is always hot while another is always cold. People often bring in fans and space heaters trying to compensate. And while space heaters may seem to be the perfect solution for temperature variances, they cause a lot of problems. They are often placed under desks, in corners, or near obstructions that can easily catch on fire. Electrical cords can also be tripping hazards.

Poor electrical connections

If an electrical connection or cord looks frayed or worn, don’t use it. Call in an electrician to ensure every outlet is working correctly. Keep all appliances that don’t meet regulation away.

How to ensure safety throughout the office

While most people use safety rules at home, many forget to apply them at work. It’s important to have periodic safety meetings to remind people of office hazards and how to prevent potential problems. Make it easy to follow guidelines that lay out specific rules, especially as the holiday kick into gear. Have coworkers pitch in and watch for potential problem areas. If you see unsafe space heater usage, for example, invest in a new space heater. Better yet, call in an HVAC technician and ensure your heating and cooling systems are operating correctly.

It could be the difference between a productive office and potential fire damage.

When was the last time you had an HVAC technician inspect your heating and cooling systems?

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