How To Ensure Your Business Is Safe From A Fire
Business owners have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of persons on their premises in case of fire – it is vital that employees, visitors, and the premises themselves are protected. In order to mitigate the risks of fire and to make sure that if a fire were to break out the spread of fire is managed there are several steps that business owners must take.
Assess The Risk
Every non-domestic building in England and Wales must have an up to date fire risk assessment created by a competent person – this is a legal requirement. The risk assessment should include an identification of hazards and a determination of risk to people within your building. The aim of the assessment is to take actions to mitigate risks and take precautions. For example, checking the fit of existing fire resistant doors to ensure that they are fit for purpose. It is important to review and update your fire risk assessment on a regular basis.
Train Your Staff
A fire risk assessment will help you identify emergency escape route and identify issues but it is imperative that the actions of the assessment are communicated to staff to guarantee that they are taking appropriate actions to minimise the risk of a fire breaking out or spreading. It may be that the office fire doors are often left propped open as the office warm – if the dangers of leaving these fire resistant doors open are not communicated to your staff, the risk is very real.
A Fire Safety System Must Be Installed
It is important to make sure that you have an adequate fire safety system installed – this is also a legal requirement. Fire regulations can be complex so when considering fire alarms and smoke detectors, if you are in any doubt about the nature of the fire safety system that needs to be installed, it really is best to consult an expert who will be able to give you professional advice.
Adequate Fire Protection Equipment Must Be Available
A fire safety system will warn you about a fire breaking out and may also deal with some of the break out, fire protection equipment will help to slow the spread or deal with the fire itself. Again, it is important to contact a consultant if you are unsure as to the fire protection equipment needed on your premises. If your building is of an unusual configuration, it may be that you need specific solutions such as office fire doors made by a bespoke door manufacturer.
Carry out Regular Testing and Maintenance
There is no point in carrying out a risk assessment, training your staff, installing fire safety systems and fire protection equipment if the items are not regularly tested and maintained. From regular review of your risk assessment, to testing of escape routes, fire alarms, and extinguishers – all these actions are vital if you wish to ensure your business is safe from a fire.