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.
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.
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).
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
- Black label
- Suitable for: liquids and electrical fires
- 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.
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.
Here at Protect & Detect, we’re dedicated to ensuring the safety of our customers in the event of a fire. We have a wealth of experience supplying, replacing and servicing fire alarms and fire alarm systems. To learn more about the services we provide and the extensive range of products we sell, get in touch with us today for more information, help and advice from our friendly, knowledgeable team. We operate in and around Ipswich, Cambridge and surrounding areas.