Smoking is directly or indirectly responsible for causing innumerable fires. Some authorities maintain that it is the major single cause of fires. The habit is deeply ingrained in many people. Fire by smokers is caused when lighted matches or cigarette ends or smoldering tobacco pipes are carelessly thrown about.
Prohibiting smoking is one of the surest ways of reducing fire incidences. It is however impractical to prohibit the practice of smoking in all parts of the factory or business premises. Such a prohibition may also be counterproductive as it may lead to greater hazards from illicit smoking. Smoking must however be strictly prohibited in workrooms or factories where combustible waste is produced or where flammable vapors are present.
To contain the danger, posed by illicit smoking, it is desirable that smoking should only be permitted at certain specified times, and in suitable places, such as mess rooms, canteens, or at clearly defined smoking areas. An adequate number of suitable deep receptacles for spent matches and cigarette ends should be provided.
When ashtrays and receptacles are provided, arrangements should be made for their contents to be safely disposed of by end of day.
Nightwork means working at any time between 9 p.m. and 5a.m. Night work can lead to increase in fire risk because the normal hazards of production namely lighting, heating, use of grinding machinery are increased. This is because the machines in use day and night have no time to cool off and the hazards of friction and overheated bearings are increased. In addition, repairs are postponed or hurriedly done when day and night shifts are worked.
Secondly, the alertness and discipline of workers are severely prejudiced when they are working at times when nature dictates that they should be asleep
The electrical installations in a building often provides a valuable indication of the care taken by the management, carelessness being shown by unsatisfactory features such as joins in lengths of flexible wire to lamp holders and loose cables hanging over nails.
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