Fire safety must be taken seriously by every business. Keeping your staff and customers safe is a top priority. You may think that a fire won’t happen to you but don’t take that chance. A fire can be devastating for your business. Employees and the public could be harmed and expensive equipment and premises could be destroyed. Not only that but your company’s reputation could be damaged if it is discovered that you did not take the necessary precautions.
Having robust fire safety procedures in place, in tandem with regular maintenance and testing of your fire safety equipment will help you meet you Health and Safety obligations and protect the people who use your building.
So how can you improve the fire safety of your workplace? Here are six fire safety tips.
1: Carry out Thorough Risk Assessments
Before putting any safety measures in place, you need to understand all the hazards your building has and the risks associated with them. A thorough risk assessment is needed. For businesses with more than five employees, risk assessments are a legal requirement, but they are vital for any business to understand the fire risks in your building and how to deal with them.
Risk assessments should identify fire hazards, assess the level of risk posed, and then establish how that risk can be mitigated. To ensure long-term fire safety it’s important to review and revise your risk assessments on a regular basis.
2: Keep Your Workplace Clear and Tidy
If your workplace is cluttered with paper, with equipment everywhere it is not only a fire hazard but a health and safety issue. The more items around the workplace, the more opportunity there is for a fire to catch and be fuelled. It is vital that staircases, corridors and fire exits are clear and free from clutter to enable a fast exit should a fire start. Make sure your waste bins are emptied regularly as waste can be hazardous, not only blocking exits but a lot of waste is flammable. Bins filled with cardboard and paper can increase the “fire load” of the area.
If you need to store flammable materials, these should be stored off site if possible and kept in fire resistant cabinets and containers.
3: Make Sure You Have the Right Fire Safety Equipment
Having the relevant fire safety equipment can reduce the risk of fire. In the event of a fire, safety equipment can alert people to the danger, help them escape and even extinguish the fire before it takes hold.
Make sure your workplace has smoke alarms, emergency lighting and if necessary, fire extinguishers, smoke vents and sprinkler systems.
4. Carry out regular maintenance and testing of your fire safety equipment
Once you have the right fire safety equipment in place it is important that it is maintained regularly so it works in an emergency. Fire extinguishers are an integral part of any fire prevention system, they need to be checked at least once a year to ensure they are in good working order. If you have Smoke vents they need to be regularly serviced and maintained in line with British Standard. Sprinkler systems are an effective fire prevention system but again need regular testing to keep them functioning at their best.
Regular testing is required for all your fire alarms, emergency lighting and fire hydrants. We provide a comprehensive testing regime to ensure that all your fire protection equipment works when it is most needed.
5: Make Sure Employees Are Trained in Fire Safety
There is no point having a robust fire safety plan and up to date equipment if your staff don’t know about it! For fire safety measures to work effectively your employees need to know the procedures to follow in an emergency. Training is needed to show them how to raise the alarm and evacuate a building in a fire. Fire wardens should be appointed and everyone should know who they are.
Fire wardens have an important role to play. They are responsible for co ordinating evacuations so it is vital that they are well trained and confident to perform their role when called upon. Regular fire drills can help everyone understand what to do.
6: Don’t Forget Electrical Safety
Most businesses utilise electrical equipment in one form of another. This equipment always presents a fire risk. Faulty wiring and overloaded plug sockets can cause issues with overheating which can lead to fires.
To reduce this risk you need to test, check, then repair or replace, any faulty electricals as soon as possible. Electrical equipment needs to be regularly inspected and PAT tested. We are experts in PAT testing and can ensure all your equipment is fit for purpose.
It is also important that employees are aware of electrical risks. Ensure they don’t overload plug sockets and report any loose wiring as soon as they spot it.
Equiptest can help
We are experts at PAT testing and testing and maintaining fire safety equipment. We can introduce regular maintenance plans to ensure your equipment will work when it needs to. Fire safety is not something that can be left to chance. Let us help you ensure you meet your health and safety obligations and provide a safe workplace for all. Contact Us to find out more.