6 Top Tips for Fire Protection in the Workplace
The workplace is somewhere we spend a large proportion of our time and is often an environment containing numerous fire hazards, which is why it is vitally important to have adequate fire protection methods in place.
There are a huge number of risks present in commercial and industrial environments, whether that’s electrical equipment in an office, chemicals and tools in a factory, materials such as papers and fabrics in a school or various heating and cooking appliances in a food preparation environment. The presence of these factors, combined with accidents and human error, can result in fires which kill or seriously injure employees, visitors and clients, and can also damage, or even destroy, your building, equipment and stock.
From 2010 to 2011, there were 24,900 fires recorded in buildings other than residential dwellings in the UK, according to the Communities and Local Government Fire Statistics which clearly demonstrates how important workplace fire protection is. There are various laws and regulations which govern this, but the process of protection can be fairly confusing and, at times, exhaustive, meaning it is crucial for fire safety experts, such as Elite Fire, to provide you with as much helpful and professional advice as possible…
#1 Find out who is responsible for fire protection within your building
According to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all businesses and commercial properties must determine and assign a ‘responsible person’. In England and Wales, this means that if you’re an employer, owner, landlord or occupier of a business or other non-domestic building, you’re responsible for fire safety and, as such, are in charge of ensuring you comply with current regulations and undertake regular reviews, assessments and safety protection measures.
#2 Define the main responsibilities of a fire safety officer
The main duties of the ‘responsible person’ include performing Fire Risk Assessments, undergoing fire risk reductions, including installing fire protection and safety equipment, and co-ordinating fire alarm drills. It is important that your designated fire safety officer has a comprehensive and thorough knowledge and practical understanding of fire, the building itself and general fire precautions and safety. As their main responsibility is to ensure that, in the event of a fire, everyone can escape quickly and easily, they must also have the skills necessary to plan and practice safe evacuation processes.
It can sometimes be incredibly helpful, and is often a legal requirement, to ensure your designated ‘responsible person’ has sufficient fire protection and safety training and experts within the fire safety industry, such as Elite Fire, offer a selection of courses that can benefit your workplace as a whole, including Fire Warden Training and Basic Fire Training.
#3 Choose and install the right fire alarm system for your premises
One of the most effective ways of protecting people within your business environment, as well as the actual building structure itself, is to ensure that a high quality fire alarm system has been professionally installed. It is incredibly important to install the appropriate fire alarm system for your environment, as different systems have different uses and purposes, depending on their application, which is why the professionals recommend getting expert advice about the types of alarm available from a reputable fire equipment supplier, such as Elite Fire.
Going to the experts is not only useful for obtaining advice but also for arranging your new alarm system to be fitted. Superior standard installation is essential to guarantee reliable function and it is also vital to undertake regular and periodic maintenance to ensure your alarm stays in perfect working order.
#4 Ensure effective fire protection equipment is installed and well-maintained
Fire alarms are vital for the quick and effective detection of the presence of fire or smoke. However, there is a huge selection of fire protection equipment available which can save lives in the event of an emergency, and is also often a necessity by law.
Fire extinguishers are usually required in all commercial and industrial settings and are a fundamental form of protection, providing you with a method of tackling the fire. However, there are various types of fire extinguisher, all of which are suitable for different types of fires and, as a result, different environments. Therefore, it is crucial to get an expert opinion of what is the best extinguisher or combination of extinguishers for your property.
Elite Fire supply, install and maintain all types of fire extinguisher, as well as other high quality fire protection equipment, such as fire doors, wet and dry risers and sprinkler systems, all of which can dramatically enhance the levels of fire safety within your building and aid your compliance with health and safety legislation and legal fire safety requirements.
#5 Plan, prepare and practice fire evacuation procedures
As part of your Fire Risk Assessment, and as a vital measure of general fire safety, is it important to plan and prepare a thorough evacuation process. The procedure should include various routes out of the building, all of which should be deemed simple, effective and quick, in order to make exiting as safe and efficient as possible. It is also important to have alternative routes planned in case one exit way is blocked or partially obstructed by the fire.
Fire safety signage should be placed on doors and walls in order for people know what route to take, and emergency lighting is an incredibly useful safety measure in case the power cuts out during evacuation. The designated ‘responsible person’ should ensure everyone is aware of the evacuation procedure and regular practices should be undertaken to maintain and hone this awareness.
For more information on fire safety within the workplace, contact the experts at Elite Fire today. They can offer all the specialist help and advice you need, and can arrange for the installation and maintenance of first-class fire safety equipment in order to make sure your building offers the highest levels of fire protection possible.