Every year, there are over 25,000 fires in England and Wales. Workplace fires are catastrophic for any business regardless of its size or sector. Some companies never recover. The only safe way to deal with a fire is by preventing it from ever occurring.
Fire Safety Advice
These 10 tips will help ensure that a workplace fire never happens. If one does, they also explain how to ensure your employees’ safety. GH Safety can provide custom health and safety training for your business to meet its particular needs.
1. Install Fire Alarms
Fire alarms are a legal requirement for every business premises. Both automatic and manual varieties are acceptable. However, manual alarms require that your employees are trained to set them off.
2. Create an Emergency Plan
There must be a complete plan that covers every stage from warnings systems to building evacuation.
3. Map Out Fire Escape Routes
Consult with your local fire department and draw up evacuation routes. They must be clearly signposted and remain unobstructed.
4. Appoint Fire Wardens
At least one employee should be designated a fire warden. They create safety procedures and ensure they are followed. Wardens ensure the building is evacuated and are trained in the use of fire-fighting equipment.
5. Install Appropriate Fire Extenguishers
These depend on the type of business you have. For example, CO2 extinguishers are required for offices to deal with electrical fires. There needs to be one for at least every 200 square meters. Fire wardens must know which extinguisher to use on each type of fire as well as how to store extinguishers correctly.
6. Install Emergency Lighting
Every exit, alarm and piece of fire-fighting equipment need emergency lighting. Every evacuation route should be signposted using emergency lighting, particularly in areas where people have the opportunity to change direction. Emergency lighting must be regularly checked and maintained.
7. Create Fire Safety Signs
These signs must be visible even if there is no power. Additionally, signs should communicate via pictures so that they are understood by non-English speakers and those with poor eyesight.
8. Train Your Employees
Proper training is essential so that small blazes do not erupt into much larger problems. Every employee must know how to raise the alarm, who the fire wardens are, how to access escape routes and where the outdoor assembly points are.
9. Organise Regular Fire Drills
There must be at least one fire drill every year. They give a good indication as to how prepared for a fire your employees are. Every time your fire safety procedures are updated, a drill to demonstrate understanding needs to take place.
10. Maintain a Safe Working Environment
First and foremost, ensure your business is kept tidy. All inflammable materials like paper should be disposed of as soon as possible. To prevent electrical fires, make sure sockets do not have too many outlets attached and that any unused equipment is always put away.