Safety in the workplace should always be a high priority for all businesses no matter their size to ensure a safe working environment for all.
Failure to do so can give your employees the wrong message as it reflects to them that their well-being while at work is not always being considered and in some cases even have catastrophic effects in the event of an office fire.
Five tips on implementing fire safety in the work place within small businesses:
1. Appoint and train a fire safety officer
For small business with less than 20 employees it is essential that a minimum of one person in your business is fire safety trained. This individual should be well trusted and present on the premise most of the time during working hours.
Across the country many companies in the fire safety industry offer employee training to educate this individual further in this area. Once trained the individual should be appointed the fire safety officer for your business.
2. Educate all employees
After being trained the fire safety office should be given time with all employees to educate them about the correct procedures to follow in the event of a fire. Employees should also be trained to spot potential fire hazards and who they need to report these potential hazards too.
3. Have all required fire safety equipment in place
Fire alarms should be fitted throughout the building and tested by the appointed fire safety officer on a regular basis. In order to prevent fires from spreading further fire doors should be fitted throughout the building. However fire doors in the work place can prevent proper ventilation and be quite hazardous as employees may get figures trapped in them as they close automatically.
To overcome this issue Dorgards’ fitted throughout will allow doors to be open but in the event of a fire alarm sounding will automatically close. Fire extinguishers should also be fitted throughout but as different varieties of extinguishers are designed to tackle different types of fires a professional should be consulted to ensure the correct types of extinguishers are fitted.
4. Carry out regular checks
The fire safety officer should be checking all fire related equipment such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers and Dorgards’ on a regular basis (preferably weekly). During these checks potential fire hazards noticed should be raised and the correct actions to fix these hazards implemented.
5. Display safety signage throughout business premises
Throughout your premises signage relating to fire safety and procedures in the event of a fire should be displayed. For best practice:
- Fire extinguishers should have clear signs located near them with instructions on how to use in the event of a fire
- Fire exits from the building clearly mark with a ‘fire exit’ which will glow in the dark to not prohibit visibility in poor light
- Any fire doors not fitted with a system that closes when a fire alarm sounds should have a ‘Fire door keep shut’ sign attached to them
- Assembly points clearly marked away from the building
- Any fire alarms that can be sounded by an individual in the event of the fire clearly marked
- Finally one or more signs should be displayed in a prominently, outlining the correct procedure to follow in the event of a fire. A map of the premise should also be included underneath this sign clearly showing where all the fire safety related equipment mentioned above is located
Hopefully this blog has helped provide you with the some new knowledge to implement fire safety well within your business.
Many of the fire safety industry’s most influential professionals took to the stage at FIREX International 2015 and the speakers’ presentations, which are full of advice best practice, are available here for you to keep.
Any advice in the first instance for all businesses would be to make sure they have had a fire risk assessment conductedby a QUALIFIED person.
This should lead to good fire safety management and to all the other points you have mentioned in your blog as long as the findings in the Action Plan are acted upon. Too many people think that once they have had the risk assessment done they are compliant! I am totally gobsmaked at how many people say that they can do it themselves as its an "eesy process".
For all those out there thinking of conducting a risk assessment themselves think again. Rememebr YOU will be liable if things go wrong.
Put it this way i would'nt conduct a risk assessment and ive been in the fire safety industry for 20 years. Reason- i'm not qualified!
Good fire safety management and planning is a safe environment to work in. Its cheaper to get it right from the start than pay later!
I think someone should be checking these articles before they are distributed, apart from the spelling mistakes is this really a good article for fire safety in the workplace. The most obvious omission is the need for the employer to ensure they have completed a Fire Risk Assessment, after all it is the law!