Top 10 Fire Safety Tips In The Workplace
Workplace fires can be catastrophic for any business, no matter their size, status or location. According to Government statistics, there are approximately 25,000 fires each year in England and Wales. Many businesses will never fully recover from a fire, so prevention is an absolute necessity.
Workplace Fire Safety Tips
Have a look at these 10 fire safety tips we’ve put together for you. They cover the key areas you must target for preventing fire or enabling a swift, safe evacuation should one start.
1. Install fire detection systems.
This is a legal requirement of all businesses. Some alarms may trigger automatically, but if they are manual be sure to teach employees how to operate them.
This should detail what employees must do if they discover a fire, the types of warning systems in place, and evacuation procedures.
3. Create fire escape routes.
They must take people to a safe place, have clear signs, and be well lit. Plan your fire escape routes in accordance with the local fire authority to ensure they are effective.
Your workplace should have one or more people in charge of creating and maintaining fire safety procedures. These people are known as fire wardens, who will work together with their employer to create evacuation procedures and take charge of evacuations in the event of a fire. They should receive practical training in how to use fire-fighting equipment.
Make sure everyone in charge of fire safety understand the different types of fire extinguishers available. You should have ones most suitable for the fire your business is at risk of, e.g. carbon dioxide extinguishers in offices. Store them in appropriate places and ensure there is a sufficient amount (1 for every 200 square metres).
6. Install emergency lighting.
All emergency routes and exits must be well lit. Include lighting at each door, corridor, change of direction and floor level, staircase, and next to fire-fighting equipment and alarms. Be sure to test emergency lighting regularly.
Are they clear and suitable for those with poor vision or whose first language is not English? All fire safety signs should contain pictures so anyone can understand them at a glance. Ensure they are well lit so they can be seen in an emergency, even if the power goes out.
The training you provide to your employees should explain how raise the alarm, who the fire wardens are, where the escape routes are, what your evacuation procedures are, and where the assembly point is located. Without this knowledge, fire emergencies have the potential to become even more serious.
Practice your fire evacuation procedures at least annually to ensure all employees know what to do and where to go. Carry out a fire drill sooner if any major changes are made to evacuation routes.
10. Promote good housekeeping.
Don’t keep flammable materials, e.g. cardboard boxes, for longer than necessary. Remove and recycle them on a regular basis. Avoid overloading plug sockets, and be sure to store electrical equipment safely to minimise deterioration.
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