With so many fire safety rules and regulations to take into account, implementing strong fire safety measures can certainly be a little confusing at first. If you want to minimise the risk of fire, here are 5 questions to ask yourself to determine how safe your business is.Have you carried out a thorough risk assessment?
1. Risk assessments are an absolute must, no matter what type of business you own.
Not only do risk assessments help you to keep your premises safe, they’re also a legal requirement.
When carrying out your fire risk assessment, be sure to identify potential hazards and put measures in place to control them. You must also ensure that everyone in the building is able to escape quickly and safely in the event of a fire. By logging your assessment and taking note of your findings, you’ll have proof that the necessary checks took place.
2. Do you have fire safety equipment and does it work effectively?
From fire extinguishers to smoke alarms, there are several pieces of fire safety equipment that every business must have.
You must have a fire detection and warning system. In some cases, you may need different types of detectors. This will depend on the type of building you operate in. You must also have fire fighting equipment such as extinguishers, sprinklers and blankets.
You’ll be expected to carry out regular equipment checks to ensure that:
- All fire alarm systems, emergency lighting and extinguishers work
- Any faults in systems and equipment are recorded
- Automatic fire doors close correctly
3. Do employees understand their responsibilities when it comes to fire prevention?
From not smoking indoors to using kitchen equipment safely, there are plenty of things employees can do to minimise the risk of a fire at work. Make sure all employees understand their responsibilities and do what they can to keep the premises safe.
4. Do all your employees know what to do in the event of a fire?
In the event of an emergency, employees may understandably feel a little panicked and confused. Escaping from the building they spend 40 hours a week in may initially seem like an easy task, but when panic takes over and the pressure is on to get outside, some people freeze up and realise they don’t know what to do.
Carry out regular fire drills and make sure everyone takes it seriously. Log the results of the drill and take note of any issues that arise. Did anyone stop to get their coat? Did anyone pop to the toilet before making their exit? Take note. In the event of a real fire, these actions could prove fatal.
5. How easy is it for people to evacuate the building?
In the event of a fire, any escalators and elevators should not be used. It’s vital that staircases are available and people in the building are able to find them. Although your employees will know where the staircases are, visitors may be unsure. So make sure there are plenty of signs on the premises pointing to escape routes.
Check all escape routes and exits for obstructions and hazards that could slow people down in the event of an emergency. It’s important to keep your premises as clean and tidy as possible at all times.