All employers must regularly assess their fire safety procedures and look for ways to improve. This could include training employees on using fire fighting equipment, changing the fire exits or assembly point and investing in new fire signs to place around the building.
Unfortunately, fires remain an enormous threat to businesses and each year they cause complete devastation and cost lives. In many cases, the damage could have been avoided through improved fire safety. It is for this reason that every employer must carefully assess their fire safety procedures and look for ways to increase the safety of everybody else on the site.
Check detection systems
First, you should ensure that you have adequate fire detection systems and check that they are working (this is a legal requirement).
Assess emergency plan
Next, you should assess your current emergency plan and look for ways by which it can be improved. This could involve using alternative escape routes, assembling in a different meeting place or alternative evacuation procedures.
All workplaces should have at least one fire warden responsible for developing fire safety procedures and taking charge of evacuations (and drills). They should also be trained in using fire-fighting equipment.
There should be different types of extinguishers available and sheets informing people about the kind of fire to use them on and how to use them. These extinguishers should be stored properly and in intelligent places.
You should take the time to educate staff on what the fire safety procedure is – this will include what the escape routes are, where they should meet and who the fire warden is. You may also want to train them to use fire-fighting equipment. It is important to remember to train any new employee as soon as possible.
Fire safety signs should be placed around the premises and particularly if there are members of the public onsite who will be unfamiliar with evacuation procedures. These signs will indicate how to escape in case of a fire, which doors should be kept shut etc. In addition to text, the signs should also contain clear pictures so as to make it easier for people to understand them.
Fire drills should be carried out regularly to test your evacuation procedures. You should time these tests and carefully analyse what happens so that you can make necessary adjustments. It is also worth holding meetings after these drills so that your employees can ask questions or make suggestions on how the procedure could be improved.
The best fire safety is fire prevention, so take all necessary steps to reduce the chances of a fire starting. This could include swiftly removing flammable materials, not overloading power sockets and keeping the kitchen tidy at all times.
Fires can cause utter devastation and cost lives, which is why it is vital that all employers carefully look at their fire safety procedures and assess how they can be improved.