Top 5 Workplace Fire Safety FAQs
Fire safety is always a major concern for people at their places of work – there is a natural assumption that these matters are catered for, so it is important that those responsible for this safety are aware of the necessary requirements. Here are the most frequently asked queries about Fire Safety.
1. Do I need to test emergency lighting?
The simple answer is ‘Yes’ – fire safety facilities are of no use if not functioning! All emergency lighting should be tested once per month, as a matter of course. There should also be an additional, annual test performed by an appointed, recognised ‘competent person’. All testing results need to be formally recorded in the Fire Log Book.
2. Do I need to test my fire alarm?
Your fire alarms should be tested weekly – and, as with the emergency lighting, all test results should be appropriately, formally recorded. Along with the scheduled weekly tests, there is an additional requirement for the alarm system to be tested twice a year by a competent alarm engineer.
3. Do I need Fire Extinguishers?
Fire extinguishers are an essential safety tool to have on your premises. Depending upon the size, and type, of premises you occupy, you should consult the official guide as to the type of extinguisher you require, along with the number of extinguishers appropriate for the area. A general guide is one extinguisher per 200 square metres – with, at least, two per floor! For small premises, one extinguisher may suffice, but seek advice and guidance from a qualified fire extinguisher provider.
4. What is a fire risk assessment – and do I need one?
A Fire Risk Assessment helps you to identify all the fire risks and potential hazards in your premises. It is your responsibility to protect yourself, and any other people in your business premises, from the risk of fire. A fire risk assessment should, therefore, be performed – although it is only necessary to formally record this assessment if you employ five or more staff or hold a license issued by another authority. In some cases, you may receive a formal Notice from the Fire Authority to formally perform, and record, a fire risk assessment.
Any fire risk assessment should be carried out by someone who has had sufficient, and appropriate, fire safety training.
5. What kind of premises need a fire safety order?
A Fire Safety Order is required for virtually all types of buildings, except for domestic premises occupied by a single family. So, any public building, or business premises will require an appropriate order. Prime examples of these are Offices and Shops, Pubs, Clubs and Restaurants, Community Halls, Hotels and Hostels, Factories and Warehouses and, of course, Schools and Hospitals.