Fire Safety and Working From Home

While others are about to get back to their offices, safety is a priority even for some of us who will continue to work from home. March is fire prevention month, and despite measures for fire safety at the office, we must also do our due diligence at home. After all, it is where most of our activities happen.

March is declared as fire prevention month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 115-A issued in 1966 by Ferdinand Marcos because of the increasing incidents of fire happening around this time. It was later empowered by a similar declaration in 1989 by then President Corazon Aquino. Historically, March has recorded the highest incidences of fire averaging up to 43 deaths annually.

So, if you are still working from home or even if you just want to ensure the safety of your home altogether, let us identify a few things that can help us minimize the chances of fire. Here are a few tips:


Most of us may not have kept a fire extinguisher at home, but it is a very important tool you would like to have in cases of emergency. If you do not have yet, check the prices at your local area or you may also check in the internet. If you have your own, ensure that you have the correct type of extinguisher with the proper markings. Also physically check your container for possible cracks. Also ensure that the lock pin is in place and that the handle is not broken. Checking once a month can ensure that you have your extinguisher working once it is needed.
Have important numbers of fire station and sub-stations in your area. If you do not know their numbers, drop by at the station nearest you. You may also search the internet, but if you do, especially here in the Philippines, you need to check if these are updated because some stations do not update their information regularly, even if they have an official website in place. Put the phone numbers close to where your home phone is located.
Of course, it is important to put flammable materials away from children’s reach. This can include matches, candles, fuel or any kind, and even chemical sprays. Put these items in high or securely locked places.
Always keep your area clean, especially if you work with combustible materials such as paper documents and other materials that can easily catch fire. Oil lamps, gas lamps, candles and similar items must be kept in a storage away from curtains. Disinfectant spray, bleach, gasoline, alcohol, paint, and other flammable chemicals should not be stored inside the house. If you have a storage outside such as a tool shed or outdoor cabinets, it is best placed there. Label items as flammable as well so that visitors may take caution.
Having your electrical installations checked every few months is a good prevention of fire. This will help you know if the sockets you are using have frayed wirings or possible defects. Having yearly checks can go a long way to ensure that you have safety while you work from home. Faulty wirings is the top reason of fires, so it is very important to take due diligence.
Octopus connections increase your risk of irregularities and overload at home. Make sure that you avoid using any of these as much as possible. If it cannot be avoided, consult with an electrician on how to properly setup your home sockets to accommodate all your gadgets and appliances.
Busted fuses must be replaced only by a proper fuse. Never attempt to replace it with simple wires and metals to avoid any incidents.
This could be as straight forward as it gets. If you smoke, allocate an area where you can smoke and dispose cigarette butts properly. Ensure that you have already put the flame out before disposing in in a trash can. You may also have a dedicated disposal unit that is fire-proof for your cigarette butts such as a metal container. Not throwing flammable items in this dedicated disposal unit can help prevent accidents.
In case of accident to anyone in the house, make sure you have a First Aid Kit that is accessible in the house. Some items you can include in your first aid kit are: absorbent compress dressings, adhesive bandages, antiseptic ointments, Antiseptic wipes, Aspirin, sterile gauze pads, sterile gauze rolls, oral thermometer, non-latex gloves, cold compress, breathing barrier (with one way valve), and tweezers.


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