HVAC Safety Tips to Prevent Holiday Office Fires

Gift-giving, endless cheer, paying it forward… The holidays bring out the best in most people. Plus, holidays typically mean parties — with friends, with family, and with coworkers. HVAC safety is probably the last thing on your mind, but it shouldn’t be. With parties comes risk, as many holiday office fires result from faulty HVAC systems. So, this year, employers and employees can get a head start on holiday safety with a few HVAC safety tips. Then, of course, it’s all about focusing on having a great time with your coworkers.

Create an HVAC Safety Checklist

HVAC safety feature

To prevent fires from breaking out due to HVAC systems, an office should first know what signs to look out for. By learning about the common clues of a faulty HVAC, employees can deal with the problem before it begins.

Carelessness is the cause of around 11% of non-residential fires. In other words, knowing what dangers to look for can reduce the chances of a fire. Pay close attention to the following HVAC concerns that are harmful and could lead to an office fire:

  • Leaking Fuel LinesAs soon as someone notices a leak, workers should aim to bring in a professional. The sooner it is dealt with, the less likely a fire is to start.
  • Obscured VentsHaving too many objects around a vent poses a fire hazard. Restricting airflow or blocking it all together is a major fire hazard for commercial HVAC.
  • Space HeatersSpace heaters can be assets in a cold office. That being said, an employee who has a 36-inch perimeter with no obstructions around a space heater is good to go. However, avoid using them with extension cords and be sure to keep them away from any flammable materials. 
  • Poor Electrical ConnectionsIf a connection looks worn down, someone must replace it. Replacing connections before they pose a threat is important to the safety of the building and everyone in it. 

There are additional office fire hazards, but these examples are the most common occurrences to look out for. And, contrary to popular belief, the temperature setting of an HVAC system is not a risk to employees nor a fire hazard.

Use Simple and Effective HVAC Safety Measures

Safety comes through teamwork. That being said, fires threaten the safety of everyone in the building, not just a single employee. A fire breaks out every 24 seconds in the United States. So, for everyone’s safety this holiday season, all employees should follow the guidelines of HVAC safety standards.

HVAC safety education goes a long way. And, making a simple, easy-to-follow crisis plan gives employees effective guidelines. If your office does not have a fire escape route, it’s important to plan one immediately. The more everyone knows, the better. Coworkers can even pitch in as a team to create a plan of action in the event of an emergency. Overall, this measure protects not only the employees but the family members and friends that attend the holiday parties, too. 

Schedule Time for Routine HVAC Checkups

Preventative HVAC maintenance works. And, if taken care of, an HVAC system can last upwards of 15 years. Thus, making regular appointments to have your office HVAC system checked out should be a chief concern. Waiting until something is wrong to take care of your HVAC system is never a good idea. 

The Severn Group, based in Maryland and Washington D.C., is an expert on HVAC safety tips. We also offer cost-effective solutions to any commercial HVAC issues. Not to mention, holiday office safety is our priority, so schedule an appointment with The Severn Group today.