Don't overlook fire safety just because your shop is small. Whether you only perform basic car repairs or if you build custom parts, there are a lot of hazards that can endanger your employees, customers, and building. The following guide can help you create a safer shoproom floor.
Tip #1: Insist on Proper Storage Protocols
Paint, paint thinner, lubricants, oil, and gasoline are just a few of the highly flammable materials found in any automotive or mechanic shop. Make sure that these items are stored in clearly labeled and sealed containers that are rated safe for the specific combustible liquid.
It's best to store these items in a metal fire-proof cabinet. Make sure the cabinet is ventilated so fumes don't collect. Train employees to close containers and return them to the proper storage location immediately after each use.
Tip #2: Manage Disposal Correctly
Shop rags are often imbued with grease, gas, paint thinner, and other flammable items. Make sure you have proper disposal canisters placed liberally around the shop. These canisters are clearly marked that they hold dangerous or flammable items, and they are typically fireproof. Get everyone in the habit of using these regularly; there's never a good excuse to leave a shop rag lying around.
Tip #3: Provide Safety Equipment and Training
Certain tools carry their own cautions and requirements. For example, welding is common in body shops and custom shops. Employees should be fully trained before being allowed on the welder, and then they must be supplied with the proper safety equipment. These tools should only be used in specified areas which are off limits to all other employees. Everyone should also be trained to spot and correct fire hazards, (such as removing wayward shop rags) before engaging tools that can throw off sparks.
Tip #4: Plan Ahead
There should be no shortage of fire extinguishers in the shop. Make sure everyone knows their location and how to use them. Overhead sprinklers are also a good idea, especially in store rooms for fuels, oils, and other combustible items.
Chemical fires are sometimes a concern in a shop. If so, you may need sand or special extinguishers that are made specifically for chemical fires. It's also a good idea to have fuel spill kits on hand, along with the knowledge of how to use them. Working with a fire prevention service like Ace Fire Protection is a good idea, because they can help you determine the amount of equipment and the best types of safety equipment for your specific shop needs.