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  1. The Business Owner’s Checklist for Commercial Fire Safety in 2019

    December 4, 2018 by Total Fire and Safety

     

    A brand new year is a great time for businesses to evaluate what they can improve upon, even in terms of their commercial fire safety.  No business is completely immune to accidental fires and having the right equipment in place year round can prevent potential devastation.

    According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 3,300 fires break out in office buildings across the U.S each year.  The NFPA reports that a number of people are killed or injured with an estimated $112 million in property damage.

    If you’re a business set on achieving your 2019 goal of reaching NFPA compliance, take a look at checklist of equipment you need below for commercial fire safety. Anything missing? Call Total Fire & Safety. We can help!

    ____    Alarms

    • Fire and smoke alarms are the first line of defense and should be regularly inspected and in working order.
    • Consider wireless fire alarm monitoring, which is more efficient for many businesses.
    • Have a plan of action for occupants should the alarm sound.

    ____     Extinguishers and Suppression Systems

    • Conduct tests regularly to ensure function and pressure when activated.
    • Schedule routine maintenance of equipment.
    • Store extinguishers in open areas for easy access.

    ____     Emergency Lighting

    • Effective emergency lighting throughout the building will help occupants to safety in an emergency.
    • Schedule regular maintenance and inspections.

    Equipment is essential and necessary to prevent major damage but people are too! Whether it’s putting out a fire or tending to the injured, what good is the equipment if you don’t have employees able to use it?

    ____    First Aid

    ____    Training Courses

    • A comprehensive fire equipment training course on the use of fire equipment and first aid can place confidence in employees and keep everyone safe.
    • Training employees reduces the chance of small fires starting and spreading.

    You could have all the equipment ready and employees trained to use it but they need something else.

    ____   Emergency Preparedness Plan

    • Remind employees to REACT-(remove from danger, ensure doors/windows are closed, activate alarm, call 911, treat as dangerous.)
    • Conduct fire drills.
    • Schedule inspections of all fire equipment.
    • Have employees trained on firefighting equipment.

    Making sure you have commercial fire safety in place can seem a daunting task but the pros at Total Fire and Safety are here to simplify it.  TFS covers everything including inspection, maintenance, training, and keeping your building up to code so you are well protected in the event of an unforeseen fire. Give us a call today at 630-960-5060.


  2. Danger on the Job: Keeping the Office Kitchen Safe

    November 5, 2018 by Total Fire and Safety

    Next to the everyday hustle and bustle of the average office, office kitchen fire safety is a secondary concern. However, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports that just over one-fifth of office fires begin in the kitchen or cooking area.  Twenty-nine percent are started by cooking equipment, the leading cause of fires in the office.  Although these fires started small, they caused major structure damage.

    With the holidays on the way and more employee parties sure to take place, the office kitchen will be used more than ever.  How can you prevent a fire from happening? How do you keep your employees safe and well fed at the same time?  Here are four important safety tips to help you get started:

    1. Replace worn or frayed power cords.
    Inspect power cords on the kitchen appliances. Are the wires exposed?  If so, the cord can short out and cause a fire.  Encourage your employees to keep an eye out for damaged cords.  Be sure to replace them as soon as they are found.  This one simple act will keep the office safe.

    2. Watch food as it cooks.
    It easy to become distracted in the office, whether its fellow coworkers gossiping or doing too many things at once. You wouldn’t leave food unattended at home and the office should not be any different.  To ensure food cooks properly, emphasize that employees must stay near appliances as they cook or heat food/beverage.  Employees using the kitchen also need to watch for signs of smoke or burning.  Doing so will ensure the safety of the entire building.

    3. Regularly clean appliances.
    We’ve all been there. We stick a (insert food item) in the microwave, oven, toaster, etc., and it explodes or leaves spillage behind.  However, we avoid cleaning, commonly thinking someone else will do it.  Spills and baked-in foods left behind can cause a fire. Cleaning kitchen equipment after use will prevent grease from accumulating which prevents combustion. These hazards can be avoided easily so remind employees to wipe up spills, food particles left behind, etc.

    4. Have employees trained to use a fire extinguisher.
    No matter how proactive you and your employees are, accidents still happen.  Having staff trained to use fire fighting equipment could mean the difference between a catastrophe or a minor incident.  Total Fire and Safety can train you and your employees to use a fire extinguisher, first aid equipment, and other lifesaving safety measures.

    With most office fires starting in the kitchen, it is important to educate employees on office kitchen fire safety.  Total Fire and Safety (TFS) offers a complete fire training program to educate employees on the proper techniques of fighting a fire.  Not only can your employees use these practices in the office, they can also apply them in their home.  Keep you, your staff, and your workplace fire safe. Give TFS a call today at 630-960-5060.


  3. Are Your Emergency Eye Wash Stations Ready for Action?

    December 19, 2017 by Total Fire and Safety

    If you have hazardous chemicals onsite, you likely need an emergency eyewash station.

    One of the many vital services we provide at Total Fire and Safety is performing inspections on emergency showers and eye wash stations. Like any fire or safety equipment, routine inspections are a must to ensure your equipment will perform perfectly at a moment’s notice. In an emergency situation, nobody has the time troubleshoot an underperforming piece of equipment, let alone attempt to repair it. We’ve outlined the steps we take to ensure your eye wash station or emergency shower is ready in an emergency:

    1. Ensure everything about the station’s location is correct. We first make sure the station is in an area it is needed. A working emergency eye wash station is of no use if it is not accessible to those who may need it. While showers tend to be fixed structures, eye wash stations can be either fixed or mobile. We also make sure the station is unobstructed and away from any source of debris or hazardous spray, which could compromise its usefulness.

    2. Next, we inspect the exterior. We visually check every part of the station for any signs of damage, such as leaks, cracks, or other signs. Then, we check that all the hardware is intact and correctly in place, such as the caps, valves, and pull rods for showers. We then verify everything is at the correct height and that all signage is in its proper place before moving on to the next step.

    3. After the visual inspection, we test the operation. For every eye wash station, we check the flow of water by gauging its height, volume, and response time from the moment of activation. For showers, we verify the water flows properly and onto the correct area.

    4. For portable units, we empty and replace the water. This is to ensure the water in the reservoir is not only full, but clean and fresh. This step is also taken so that we can rinse out the inside as well as check for foreign debris or contaminants which could compromise the integrity of the eye wash station.

    5. Finally, we clean everything and document the inspection. This entails wiping everything down with a rag and cleaning solution. Once this is done, we apply the inspection tag to the station to communicate to others when the inspection took place and what was performed. We also keep our own records of the inspection by filling out detailed information in an eyewash report.

    In any facility that may contain hazardous substances, you may find an emergency shower or eye wash station idly waiting until needed. These units are not given much thought, but anyone who has ever used one in an emergency situation will vouch for its importance to stay in proper working order. If you have any questions or concerns about your emergency eye wash station or shower, or about the readiness of any of your fire safety equipment, please contact us.


  4. Five Questions to Ask to Assess Your First Aid Requirement for Workplace

    April 19, 2017 by Total Fire and Safety

    We cannot overstate the importance of first aid requirement for the workplace. If you read through the OSHA requirements for first aid kits and first aid training, and the ANSI minimum first aid equipment for businesses, you may notice that a lot of the details are left up to the business owner. That is because every business is different, and will have different risks depending on the equipment involved in the business. A simple office space might have a small, basic first aid kit, while a car mechanic would probably need a much more complex one. Here are five steps to help guide you through the process of determining what first aid kit and training your business and your employees need.

     

    1. What are the most common injuries in your industry? Think about the equipment involved with your industry, and what kind of accidents can happen with that equipment. Make sure you satisfy the first aid requirement for workplace accidents to handle the most probable injuries within your specific business.

     

    3. How close are you to the nearest hospital or medical center? In the event of an emergency, how long would it be until help arrived? If your business is in a remote location, you might need extra first aid materials to handle an emergency for a longer length of time.

     

    4. How many employees do you have? Make sure there are enough first aid kits to handle an emergency where multiple people are injured. The more employees you have, the more first aid kits you should have.

     

    5. Consider the layout of your workplace. Make first aid kits easy to get to, and easy to see. They must be clearly labeled, and all employees should know where they are. Also make sure that the first aid kits are accessible in the areas which are most prone to accidents, such as the kitchen in a restaurant.

     

    There are a lot of options for both first aid kits and training. Make sure to think about restocking first aid kits and offering training to new employees. First aid requirements for workplace accidents can include portable kits or wall mounted kits, designed for indoor or outdoor use. For first aid training programs, make sure you go with a quality program that will teach your employees how to handle emergencies that are most likely to occur in your workplace. Cover the basics, and go beyond, to keep your employees healthy and safe.

     

    If you have questions or concerns about first aid kit or training compliance, Total Fire and Safety is you one-stop source for all fire safety and first aid needs. Feel free to contact us at 630-960-5060.

     


  5. Five Reasons Why Employees Should Have First Aid Training

    February 26, 2016 by Total Fire and Safety

    You may think you know the importance of first aid and fire safety, but the real impact of first aid and fire equipment training in the workplace is often overlooked. Whether your business is a high or low-risk environment, there are always risks that can lead to medical emergencies.

    1. Increasing profitability. A safer workplace means less missed workdays due to injuries. According to the National Safety Council, in 2012, nearly 5 million workers were injured at work, which costed employers a total of $198.2 billion.

    2. Saving your employees time and money. It is proven that businesses and employees will save money if accidents are handled quickly and effectively. The National Safety Council attests that 25 percent of all emergency room visits can be avoided with basic first aid and CPR certification.

    3. It really does save lives. If your employees don’t know how to handle injuries, the condition of the victim could worsen before the ambulance arrives, and cause further trauma and debilitation, not to mention medical costs and possibly, even death. Having a commercial first aid kit on the job sends a message to your employees that you value their health and well-being and are doing all you can to mitigate any injuries that occur on the job. It also shows that you never want your employees to be vulnerable to unattended injury.

    4. It is required by law for many workplaces. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires businesses to provide first aid and CPR training to employees if there is no nearby clinic or hospital. Make sure you also have a commercial first aid kit available in your workplace. Obviously, if your business deals with risky materials or conditions, having a commercial first aid kit makes sense whether or not you are bound by law.

    5. Teach your employees how to use emergency equipment. You spend money keeping your workplace up to code with commercial fire extinguishers and first aid kits, but these things don’t handle emergencies by themselves! Your employees need to know how to work fire extinguishers and use first aid supplies correctly. The investment need not be costly; a simple on-site class with the staff in attendance should suffice.

    Total Fire & Safety can handle all your needs whether it be fire extinguishers, first aid kits, fire extinguisher training, or first aid training. For more information, visit our website or you can contact us at 630-960-5060.


  6. Total Fire & Safety at Navy Pier!

    November 18, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    The Total Fire & Safety team is on the scene today at the 2015 Chicagoland Cooperator’s Condo, HOA, Co-Op and Apt. Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago. Pictured here at the TFS booth are (from left to right) Jeff Buff, (Customer Service Representative), Randy Donka (Outside Sales Representative), and Marc Spinder, (Outside Sales Representative).
    The show brings together thousands of board and association members, property managers, homeowners and apartment building owners to meet, attend educational seminars and get their questions answered.

    For Total Fire & Safety, this is a chance to showcase our various fire safety and first aid solutions. If you’re in the downtown area, join us today at Navy Pier! Free admission and lots of other freebies inside!

    If we don’t see you there, contact us any time with your questions regarding fire safety. We’re here to help.


  7. Five Reasons You Need a Commercial First Aid Kit

    February 21, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

     

    If one of your employees hurt themselves right now, do you have a commercial first aid kit for them to use?  Is it fully stocked?

    It’s not only important to have an OSHA-approved first aid kit onsite, but it’s also important to have the right kind, with the right contents, and have it replenished with first aid kit supplies on a regular basis.

    Without a doubt, the number one reason you need to have a commercial first aid kit onsite is:

     1.       It’s Code!

    OSHA’s “Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program”,  publication states:

     “It is advisable for the employer to give a specific person the responsibility

    for choosing the types and amounts of first-aid supplies and

    for maintaining these supplies. The supplies must be adequate,

    should reflect the kinds of injuries that occur, and must be stored in

    an area where they are readily available for emergency access.”

    Under the ANSI standard, Z308.1-2009, businesses can maintain four different categories of first aid kits for general indoor use, office use and light manufacturing.  Kits must also meet the performance and testing requirements set by the standard.

    Type I: Kits for indoor use, intended to be in a fixed position, not portable, like a mounted wall cabinet  for offices or manufacturing facilities.

    Type II: Portable, indoor kits with a carrying handle to be used in office or manufacturing environments.

    Type III: Portable kits for mobile indoor/outdoor settings that should have the ability to be mounted and are typical for transportation or construction jobs.

    Type IV: Portable kits for rugged, environmentally hostile outdoor applications where potential for damage to the kit is high.

    The ANSI standard details items needed for each kit but they generally include a selection of compresses, bandages, tape, gloves, antiseptic and burn treatments. Businesses with specific workplace hazards should consult with a competent healthcare professional to see what first aid kit supplies they should have. Depending on the workplace conditions, additional supplies may include eyewash, cold packs, eye covers, burn dressings, etc.  The standard also addresses requirement marking and labeling of first aid kit supplies and the importance of having the commercial first aid kit regularly maintained, which can be tricky unless you retain a first aid supplier to do it.

    2.       Accidents Really DO Happen.

    According to information from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), an estimated 3.8 million workers in private industry and state and local government had a nonfatal occupational accident in 2012. The year prior, an estimated 2.9 million workers went to the ER with an occupational injury or illness and approximately 150,000 of those workers were hospitalized.  In the doctor’s office or even a court of law, it’s important for your employee to be able to report that a first aid kit was available and well-stocked, but the injury’s severity required additional medical attention. Undoubtedly, at some time during their tenure with your business, every employee will have interaction with the kit at least once.

    3.       You Care.

    Really, having a commercial first aid kit there for your employee’s comfort does send a message that workplace safety is important, as is the well-being of each employee. Employees who are more comfortable, are happier and therefore work more efficiently.

    4.       Productivity.

    In some cases, a minor scrape, or headache can send an employee home to get the proper first aid for their ailment. Their departure, even for a short period of time, means others have to take their place, and the domino effect can wreak havoc on productivity. Worse yet, the employee may choose to take the rest of the day off.  Having the first aid supplies they need on hand can keep an employee comfortably on the job.

    5.       Saved Time.  

    When an incident happens, nobody has to run out to the drug store for bandaids; they just reach inside the kit and find everything they need. Again, the first aid kit can keep everyone on the job where they belong and your productivity at the level you require.

    At Total Fire & Safety, we are experts with OSHA approved first aid kits and have been offering first aid kit supplies and replenishment for more than 20 years. If you have any questions about the type of first aid kit you need for your business, call us today at 630-960-5060.