To help you make the workplace a fire‐hazard free place, we’ve listed our top 5 fire safety tips.
1. Conduct a fire risk assessment
As the business owner or employer, it is your legal responsibility to ensure all reasonable steps are taken to identify and remove fire hazards from the workplace.
Carrying out a fire risk assessment allows you to identify these hazards and establish the persons most likely to be at risk.
You can then take the necessary measures to reduce those risks, and inform employees of what procedures should be followed in the case of a fire (evacuation routes etc).
2. Appoint fire wardens
You may not have the time to consistently check that all fire safety procedures are being kept in place, so nominating responsible persons to be fire wardens is a good way to share the duties of fire safety, with nominated fire wardens being your “eyes and ears” on the ground too.
Fire Wardens should be responsible for carrying out routine and regular checks on the fire safety equipment in the workplace such as:
Monthly functionality check on the emergency lights.
Weekly testing of the fire alarm call points and sounders.
Monthly checks on the extinguishers.
Checks on the fire exit routes and fire doors/exit doors.
It is always desirable to have more than one fire warden so that in the event of holidays and sickness there is still someone on site to fulfill this role and carry out these essential inspections. If your premises are large, you may have a dedicated fire warden per floor, or area, to make things more manageable.
3. Maintain a clean workspace
Excess waste cluttering up the workplace can be a fire hazard, especially if there is a build up of “Class A” materials such as cardboard, paper and wood.
These add to the “fire load” of a property, and provide freely burning materials should a fire break out.
What’s more, an untidy workplace can be a problem if staff need to evacuate quickly due to a fire and objects blocking fire escapes.
Keep the workplace clean and free of clutter to ensure everyone’s safety while they work.
4. Detection and warnings
You are legally required as a business owner to install suitable means of raising an alarm of fire (such as a fire alarm and detection system) in order to alert all people on the premises in the case of a fire.
Make sure you test this regularly to ensure it is always functioning correctly ‐ setting a fixed time and day per week is the best method as employees and visitors will know it is a test at this time and not a proper fire alarm.
As well as fire detection systems, you should have other fire safety equipment installed in the workplace, including but not limited to:
Fire safety signs
5. Fire Safety Policy
Putting a fire safety policy in place as a precaution is a good practice for any workplace, informing all employees of what procedure needs to be followed in the case of a fire.
Set out an evacuation route and make sure all employees know it ‐ posting a plan near fire exits can be a good idea.
You should also ensure that anyone using machinery or equipment that has been identified as a potential fire hazard receives the proper training, and knows what to do should a fire ever occur.