There are very few people who do not like thickly-buttered slices of toast. In a bustling office environment, toast makes for a quick and easy snack. There are, however, a number of important safety-based guidelines that need to be followed when making toast in an office. Fire-safety, health issues, and hygiene are the chief topics of which to be aware.
Timing the toast
The majority of toasters come with pre-installed timers. They allow the user to toast the bread for a specific, selected period only. Some toasters, however, do not. Offices are busy, hectic environments. If an employee is called from the kitchen into the office, he or she may forget the bread is toasting. Aside from the risk of burning the toast, there is the danger of fire breaking out. In an office environment, it's always advisable to invest in a toaster that has a timer or cut-off switch.
Toast and health hazards
Germs spread easily and quickly in office environments. As toast is a popular snack and easy to make, the office toaster will be in regular use. It is important that office staff understand the importance and safety of keeping the toaster clean. That includes both on the outside and the inside. Regularly clean the exterior with antibacterial soap. Clear the interior of crumbs daily. This should be done by holding the toaster, head-first, over the sink. Never try to remove items from inside the office toaster while it is plugged in.
Detecting a fire
Smoke alarms and fire alarms are vital components of all office-based environments. That goes for in the kitchen, too. The alarms should be situated close enough to the toaster to detect an outbreak of fire. Alarms should not, however, be located so close to the toaster that they ring every time toast is being made. In terms of placement, trial and error is the best approach. Staff should be fully briefed on how to exit the building if, as a result of cooking, fire breaks out in the kitchen.
Toast and ventilation
It is important that a toaster is situated in a room that has plenty of ventilation. For safety reasons, in the event that a small fire breaks out in the toaster, this will lessen the chance of the fire spreading elsewhere. Also, not everyone wants to be surrounded by the smell of burned toast all day. Adequate ventilation will lessen the lingering odour of toast in the office. If the plug of the office toaster becomes hot, this is a sign of short-circuiting. The toaster should be thrown away and replaced with a new one.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images