Top Tips for Fire Safety in the Workplace
It’s so easy to adopt a mindset that a workplace fire won’t happen to you or your business, but it’s vital that you have the correct procedures in place because as the business owner, you are responsible for the safety of your employees and the building. A fire in a workplace can be catastrophic. It can threaten the safety of the people inside, ruin your company’s reputation, and destroy stock and equipment that can have costly consequences.
This blog will go through our top tips to improve fire safety and minimise the risks within your workplace.
Keep your workplace tidy
An untidy workplace will hold more fire safety hazards than a clean one. If there’s more clutter and rubbish, the ‘fire load’ of the building increases, meaning more items in the building are likely to catch fire and fuel a large building fire. Cluttered areas can also disrupt a clear evacuation, so make sure the corridors, stairs, and exits are as tidy as possible.
Any stock in the building should be stored safely and the appropriate control measures should be implemented to ensure the safe storage of flammable materials and liquids in line with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations. This means these flammable materials should be stored away from the workplace where they pose less of a risk to people’s safety.
Make sure you have relevant fire safety equipment
The addition of fire safety equipment can reduce the risk of a fire occurring, and in the event that a fire does start, the right equipment can let employees be aware of the fire and potentially put it out before it grows. You need to make sure that your building has smoke detectors, fire exit lighting and signs, fire extinguishers and sprinklers, and fire escape ladders if necessary.
Carry out fire risk assessments
You need to be fully aware of any hazards in your workplace and the risks that come with them. Before implementing fire safety control measures, you need to carry out a full risk assessment, which at Firestoppers, we can help with.
For businesses with more than five employees, fire risk assessments are a legal requirement, but if you have less than five employees, they’re still hugely important as a fire can result in devastating consequences for your business.
Fire risk assessments should highlight what in the building could start a fire, and assess the level of risk that comes with it, who could be affected, and how the risks can be reduced. From this assessment, you then need to then apply control measures proportionate to the risk level. It’s vital to review the assessment regularly and keep it relevant to changes in the business.
Make sure employees are trained
For control measures to be implemented effectively, all employees must be trained in fire safety. They need to know what to do if a fire happens, from the first step of raising the alarm to exiting the building safely. All staff should know who their fire warden is, if they aren’t prepared or knowledgeable, it can make a bad situation worse. The right training is conducted through fire drills and fire safety training workshops.
Don’t forget electrical safety
Most businesses in the modern-day use electrical equipment in some form, and where there is electrical equipment, there are fire risks. Electrical equipment faults can overheat easily to spark fires that spread quickly. To reduce these risks, identify and repair any electrical faults as soon as you can, and ensure you have regular PAT testing of all electrical equipment in your building.
Appoint fire wardens
In your business, you should have at least one fire warden. Fire wardens are members of your staff that are responsible for creating and maintaining the fire safety procedures. In the event of a fire, they need to take charge and coordinate exit methods, and check everyone has evacuated the building safely. Fire wardens will need to undergo fire warden training and know exactly how to work in a fire safely.
At Firestoppers, we can complete a fire risk assessment of your workplace for you, as well as training your staff on fire safety. If you’re interested then visit our website to find out more and contact us today on 0800 799 9514.