Your Guide to Fire Safety in the Workplace
Posted on 13th March 2020 at 10:30
For every business owner, fire safety should always be a top priority when it comes to keeping your staff and business safe. No matter what type of business you are, it’s important that you understand your responsibilities to comply with fire safety regulations. Read our guide to fire safety in the workplace below to ensure you take the appropriate precautions.
Who is Responsible for Fire Safety in the Workplace?
Whether you are a shop owner or a warehouse retailer, as the owner of that business you are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate fire safety precautions are taken. However, if you have a member of staff that takes control of the premises in your absence, e.g. a facilities manager, this person must then become the ‘responsible person’ in the event of a fire.
If you are the designated ‘responsible person’, you must:
• partake in regular fire risk assessments of the business premises and review them each time
• inform staff of any risks that have been identified through these assessments
• organise and maintain suitable fire safety measures
• ensure that staff are provided with relevant fire safety information and training
• Have a plan in place for the event of an emergency
How is a Fire Risk Assessment Carried Out?
Carrying out fire risk assessments on a regular basis will help you identify the areas in which risk could be posed in the event of a fire, as well as what measures need to be taken to lessen these risks and ensure your staff/customers remain safe.
To carry out a fire assessment risk, you must:
• Identify any fire hazards that could pose a risk
• Identify staff who may be at risk
• Assess, reduce or remove these risks
• Make a record of these risks, implement an emergency plan and provide staff with the appropriate information and training needed to combat these risks
• Continue to carry out fire risk assessments and reviews regularly
It is important to note that if your business has more than five members of staff, you must lawfully keep a written record each time you partake in a fire risk assessment.
What Should be Considered During a Fire Risk Assessment?
With the safety of staff in your hands, carrying out a fire risk assessment can, at first, seem overwhelming if you have never done one before. However, taking these considerations into account will help ensure you carry out a professional and thorough assessment:
• fire alarms and other detection systems
• the available emergency routes and fire exits
• the available firefighting safety equipment
• an emergency evacuation plan
• the removal of any potentially inflammatory/hazardous substances
• providing staff with the appropriate fire safety information and training
• providing customers with the appropriate fire safety information (if applicable)
• the needs of potentially vulnerable people in the event of a fire, e.g. those with disabilities
What Help is Available with Fire Risk Assessments?
There are several fire safety risk assessment guides available to aid you in your assessment. However, if you do not feel you are able to carry out the assessment yourself or require additional help, you may want to employ a professional risk assessor who will be able to provide their expertise. Alternatively, you could contact your local fire and rescue authority who should be able to offer advice that will help to confirm whether you have carried out a fire risk assessment correctly.
What Fire Safety Equipment Needs to Be Tested?
All types of fire safety equipment must be tested regularly to ensure that it works effectively in the event of a fire. It is essential to carry out these tests as frequently as possible to confirm that:
• all fire detection systems such as alarms and indoor sprinklers are working properly
• all emergency routes and exits are clear
• all fire escapes can be accessed and opened with ease
• all fire exit signs are sufficiently lit and position correctly
• all emergency lighting is working
• all automatic fire doors shut in an emergency
While it is essential to carry out regular tests on all fire safety equipment, it is also important to keep staff informed and up to date with the latest fire safety information and training. New staff should receive training immediately when joining your business while existing staff should be reminded of emergency procedures and alerted to any new fire risks that have been identified.
As well as fire detection systems and firefighting equipment, fire safety doors can also help provide protection from a fire by keeping flames contained and stopping the spread of fire to other areas. Here at Zenith doors, from roller shutter doors to fire rolling curtains, we offer an extensive range of fire-resistant industrial doors, meaning no matter what type of business you are, we can help when it comes to fire safety! Contact one of our team members today to find out more.
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