In the past few years, Nairobi has experienced many fires especially in commercial properties. The worst was the “Nakumatt Downtown” fire where many people died and many more were injured. There have also been several other fires that have just destroyed properties, sparing precious lives. The latest one is the JKIA fire that was blamed on an electrical fault. However, all is not lost. To limit the risk of fires, good housekeeping is critical. All employees , tenants or residents should take the following precautions:
- Minimize the storage of combustible materials e.g cooking gas.
- Make sure that doors, hallways, stairs, and other exit routes are kept free of obstructions.
- Dispose of combustible waste in covered, airtight, metal containers.
- Use and store flammable materials in well-ventilated areas away from ignition sources.
- Use only nonflammable cleaning products.
- Keep incompatible (i.e., chemically reactive) substances away from each other.
- Perform “hot work” (i.e., welding or working with an open flame or other ignition sources) in controlled and well-ventilated areas.
- Keep equipment in good working order (i.e., inspect electrical wiring and appliances regularly and keep motors and machine tools free of dust and grease.
- Ensure that heating units are safeguarded.
- Report all gas leaks immediately. A responsible person shall ensure that all gas leaks are repaired immediately upon notification.
- Repair and clean up flammable liquid leaks immediately.
- Keep work areas free of dust, lint, sawdust, scraps, and similar material.
- Do not rely on extension cords if wiring improvements are needed, and take care not to overload circuits with multiple pieces of equipment.
- Ensure that required hot work permits are obtained.
- Turn off electrical equipment when not in use.
Adopted from the OSHAcademy training manual.
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