We understand running a business means juggling many different responsibilities on a daily basis. However, none are more important than the safety of your business and your staff. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 5 essential steps to take to ensure your business fire safe.
1. Have a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) Completed
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order states that all businesses employing 5 or more people must have a Fire Risk Assessment completed by a competent person. An FRA will evaluate the condition of your premises, the contents of the building to identify potential fire hazards, sources of ignition and combustible materials, and the escape routes in the event of a fire. The assessment should also take into consideration who works in the building and where, current fire safety signage, existing protocols for fire prevention and management, and fire safety equipment onsite including its condition and maintenance. The Fire Industry Association recommend you update your FRA every 3 years to stay compliant with fire safety regulations.
2. Maintain your Systems
It is recommended that you maintain your systems once installed to ensure the continued safety of your premises and your staff. You must also carry out regular checks to make sure that:
- all fire alarm systems are working
- the emergency lighting is working
- you record any faults in systems and equipment
- all escape routes are clear and the floor is in good condition
- you can easily open all fire escapes
- automatic fire doors close correctly
- fire exit signs are in the right place
3. Install the Right System for your Business
There are a number of different types of fire alarm system out there. Our brief below may help you understand which system is the right one for your business:
- Conventional System – Entry level systems suitable for small offices, small hotels, restaurants and shops.
- Two-wire fire systems – The same as conventional systems except you can add additional sounders onto the detection circuit.
- Analogue addressable system – Designed for large premises such as large hotels, factories and warehouses.
- Wireless system – Ideal for historical or heritage sites that require minimal disruption.
- Aspirating smoke detection systems – Works like a conventional smoke detector but with greater flexibility. Suitable for computer rooms or large warehouses.
For more information on the types of system available please read our blog post “How to Choose the Right Fire Alarm System for your Business.”
4. Remove all Fire Hazards
As well as ensuring your business is compliant with fire legislation, to minimise firs risk you can identify potential fire hazards in the workplace. Whilst all working environments are different, here are some of the common fire hazards found in the workplace:
- Storage of waste and combustible material – Avoid by regularly disposing of paper rubbish.
- Flammable liquids and vapours – Seal containers of flammable liquids and vapours.
- Dust – Install extraction fans where there is a risk of dust in the air, for example in factories. Equipment and machinery that heats up when used should also be kept clean and free of grease and dust.
- Blocked fire exits – Blockages or obstructions prevent safe and speedy escape if a fire breaks out, posing a major hazard as it endangers lives
- Fire doors left open – Often, fire doors are propped open which renders the door useless in the event of a fire.
For more examples of fire hazards why not read our post “Examples of Fire Hazards in the Workplace.”
5. Fire Train all Your Staff
Make sure all new starters undergo health and safety and fire training. The training should cover various factors such as how to act in the event of a fire, where the nearest fire exit is and a safe meeting point for staff outside the building.
You should also carry out at least one fire drill per year and record the results. Keep the results as part of your fire safety and evacuation plan.
If you have any further questions on how to keep your business fire safe, please give us a call on 0845 402 3045 or send us an email and we’ll be happy to help.