Preventing Organization Fires: 5 Questions

“Real” effective firefighters are those who prevent blazes from occurring. Whether you stand watch at a firehouse or are a leader within an organization, the true test of your leadership effectiveness is not putting out fires as much as it is what you have done to prevent the fire.

The routine of inspection, familiarity, and identification of potential problems may not be glamorous, but has the greatest value. In uniform, it is necessary to patrol, show visible concern, and search for potential fire hazards. We must focus on diminishing the root cause of the hazard and not just the symptoms. That is where we add the most value. Even during a multi-alarm fire, you will find firefighters spending the majority of their energy and activity on prevention; preventing the spread of flame damage and threat. If one building is consumed, they re putting water on surrounding roofs. As leaders of organizations, are we modeling what “real” firefighters do, prevention and damage control?


Problems in electrical systems are often the cause of fires.
You can reduce the risk of an electrical fire by reviewing this hazard checklist.
Are lightbulbs the appropriate wattage for the size of the fixture? Are you putting 100-watt bulbs in 50-watt fixtures and wondering why they burn out so quickly?
Are lamp cords and extension cords in good condition? Are you creating hazards by using frayed cords and plugging too many tasks into one outlet?
Are your outlets and switches working properly? Do the systems in place work properly? Do people understand them and follow them?
Are your appliances located away from hazardous areas such as water and hot surfaces? Are your standards for safety understood by your people? Are your concerns their concerns?
Do fuse and breaker boxes have the correct sizes of fuses and breakers? Are you sacrificing safety to get priorities done by sticking a penny in the fuse box? Have you bypassed overload devices for the sake of immediate urgency?
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