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A workplace fire would be catastrophic for any company.

As of 2017, according to government statistics, approximately 25,000 fires occur in England and Wales each year.

Often, businesses don’t recover from a fire, so it’s important that the correct measurements are in place to help prevent them.

man maintaining fire alarm

Install fire detection systems

It a legal requirement for any business operating in the UK to install fire detection and alarm systems.

Some are set off automatically and others may need to be manually operated. If the latter is the case, ensure your employees know how to use it.

All alarm and detection systems must be tested and maintained by a fire safety professional at least twice a year under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO). Under Article 17 of the RRO, weekly tests must be conducted to ensure alarms and detectors are fully functioning.

Produce an emergency plan

Your plan should detail what employees are required to do if they discover a fire, the types of warnings that are in place and your evacuation procedures.

fire evacuation point sign

Create and make your fire escape routes known

There must be a clear and guided way out in the event of an emergency.

All fire escape doors and routes must be clearly signed and well lit. To ensure the routes are effective, plan them in accordance with the local fire authority.

Designate a fire warden

The workplace should have more than one fire warden appointed.

Fire wardens are the people in charge of creating and maintaining fire safety procedures, working with their employers to create evacuation plans and take charge in the event of a fire.

They should also be trained in how to operate fire-fighting equipment (such as blankets and extinguishers).

three fire extinguishers on the wall

Know your fire extinguishers

Ensure everyone understands which extinguisher should be used on which fire. You should have some installed that correlate with the type of business you have (e.g. a big office would have carbon dioxide extinguishers to fight electrical fires). The types will be indicated by the coloured labels on the red body.


  • White label
  • Suitable for: wood, coal, plastics, paper, textiles and solid materials


  • Blue label
  • Suitable for: solid materials, liquid, gas and electrical fires


  • Cream label
  • Suitable for: solid materials and liquids

Carbon dioxide

  • Black label
  • Suitable for: liquids and electrical fires

Wet chemical

  • Yellow label
  • Suitable for: Fires involving cooking oils and fats

Check fire safety signs

You need to ensure that they’re clear and suitable for those with impaired vision or for those whose first language isn’t English.

Ensure they’re up to date, and well lit so they’re always visible.

a clean office

Promote adequate housekeeping

Store flammable substances and materials safely, or as instructed by the manufacturer, and don’t keep them for longer than necessary.

Avoid placing objects near or around plug sockets, doorways or corridors, especially those specified in the evacuation plan. Store electrical equipment safely when not in use and shutdown all computers at the end of the day.

Protect & Detect is a leading fire safety and security company, servicing Ipswich, Colchester, Cambridge, Bury St. Edmunds, Chelmsford and beyond.

Protect & Detect offers a wide range of fire safety and security services including; fire alarms, fire extinguishers, burglar alarms, intruder alarms, fire sprinkler systems, access control, door entry systems, CCTV, barriers, nurse and warden calls. Contact our friendly team today for a quick quote.


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