Five ways to ensure fire safety in the office

Fires in the workplace can have a devastating impact, endangering the safety of your employees and causing costly damage to your business premises. You might think that they are an unusual occurrence, yet statistics show that there are over 22,000 fires in the workplace every year. The risks coupled with strict UK health and safety regulations, means fire safety should be an important consideration for business owners. In this blog we look at what you can do to ensure you’re protecting your people and staying compliant.

 

1. Keep your workspace clear and tidy

An effective method of fire prevention lies in basic housekeeping. The more clutter in a workspace, the bigger the fire hazard it poses. Disposing of waste properly, ensuring there are no spillages near electrical equipment, and storing flammable materials correctly, are all essential to reducing fire risk. Keeping floor space, corridors, stairs, and fire exits clear is also vital for a swift evacuation in the event of an emergency.

 

2. Make emergency evacuation plans

All employers should have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in place that is communicated to staff, explaining the procedures to take place in the event of a fire or other emergency. The plan should specify where the emergency exits are and who is responsible for taking specific actions – for example, each floor of your premises should have a designated fire warden whose role it is to coordinate the evacuation and ensure nobody is left behind in the building.

 

3. Test your electrical appliances

Almost all businesses will operate some form of electrical equipment, and this can pose one of the biggest health and safety risks, with faulty wiring or overloaded plug sockets having the potential to overheat and spark fires that can quickly spread. Your electrical appliances should be regularly PAT tested to ensure they are in a safe working condition as an essential park of your business’ fire safety prevention procedures.

 

4. Maintain your fire safety equipment

It is required that businesses have appropriate equipment and procedures to protect their employees in case of a fire. The type of equipment depends on your business premises, but for most it will include smoke alarms, fire exit signs, emergency lighting, and fire prevention systems, such as extinguishers and/or sprinklers. It is an employers’ responsibility to have these systems and equipment regularly checked and maintained to ensure it is in full working order.

 

5. Train your staff in fire safety

For your fire safety procedures to be effective, you need to ensure all your staff receive the appropriate fire safety training. This includes what to do in the event of a fire – from how to raise the alarm, to operating fire extinguishers, to evacuating the building. Employers should carry out at least one fire drill at its business premises per year and record the results as part of a fire safety and evacuation plan.

Trust JELACO to keep your people safe and business compliant. Our services include PAT testing and fire prevention methods, such as fire alarm and fire extinguisher maintenance, emergency lighting, sprinkler systems and much more. Get in touch to find out how we can help.