Business Safety Checklist

Our Fire Prevention Officer has identified many ways to avoid some of the most common fire code violations and keep your workplace safe. Please contact us at 978-688-9590 with any questions as you review and implement the measures on this checklist.

  • Maintain a clear and unobstructed fire lane for emergency vehicle access.  Keep all fire lane signage or painted curbs maintained for visibility.
  • Your portable fire extinguisher(s) need to be easily seen and readily accessible near the path of exiting. They shall not be mounted higher than five feet above the floor. Do not block them with merchandise or storage items. Also, make sure your employees know where the extinguishers are located, and how to use them.
  • Fire extinguishers require annual re-certification and tagging by a company licensed in Massachusetts to provide the service.  Companies are listed in your local telephone directory or online.
  • Emergency escape out of your business is through the identified exit doors. Do not lock them during business hours. Make sure to keep storage and merchandise clear of the exits at all times. Exit doors required by the building codes with panic hardware installed are not allowed to have deadbolts or other locking devices installed on them.
  • Observe and test your exit signs and emergency lighting to verify the bulbs and internal batteries all function properly. Should you lose electricity to the building these lights will automatically operate to assist with safe exiting.
  • Poorly maintained electrical wiring, cords and appliances are one of the causes of fires in businesses. Extension cords are allowed for portable appliances or temporary use only and not intended to substitute for permanent wiring needs. Multi-plug outlets must be of an approved type, such as a power strip with a circuit breaker. Make sure all electrical cords are in good condition, without any cuts, nicks, splices, or loose connections.
  • Verify that all of the circuit breakers in your electrical panel are labeled and that there are no missing breakers or openings in the panel front.
  • Keep the height of storage items at least two feet from the ceiling to allow firefighters better access during interior firefighting.  If your business has an automatic fire sprinkler system, this clearance allows for effective distribution of water from the sprinkler head to control a fire.
  • Electrical, mechanical, or equipment rooms should be kept free of any combustible materials, including papers, boxes, cleaning materials, rags, etc.
  • If you have flammable or combustible liquids in excess of 30 gallons, they must be kept in an approved storage cabinet. Some examples of what can be stored in the cabinet are: cleaning solvents, paints or thinners, adhesives, aerosol spray cans, gasoline or diesel fuel.
  • Remove combustible trash from your business as it accumulates to reduce the presence of easily ignitable materials.
  • If space heaters are used ensure they are a safe distance away from combustible materials such as cardboard boxes, wastebaskets, etc. Unplug the unit after daily use to ensure it’s off when not needed.