Every workplace needs the appropriate assessments and policies in place for any health and safety risks and potentially dangerous situations, and this includes fire safety.
In 2015/2016 there were approximately 30,000 workplace fires which injured 2,000 and killed 39 people – a devastation of which 80% of businesses will never fully recover!
These figures can be severely reduced with the correct plan and practices in place and this all starts and ends with your fire safety procedure.
It’s hugely important, and also a legal requirement, for you to have a clear fire procedure in place both for your businesses protection and to reassure your employees that you are taking their safety seriously so that they can feel protected from the dangers of a potential fire.
We advise that the following steps should be taken in order to create and organise an effective fire safety procedure in the workplace.
Fire Safety Signs
It all starts with making sure that your workplace has appropriate and visible signage around the premises including directional signs and fire exit signs above the correct doors.
This will clearly indicate to employees and visitors, who will not be familiar with the building or evacuation procedure, where they must go if and when a fire occurs.
If you are missing the appropriate signage around the premises then you can find some great ones here
Fire Safety Equipment
You must also ensure that you have the necessary fire safety equipment in and around the premises such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and a regularly tested fire alarm.
All equipment must be correctly affixed to the wall and it’s important that you remember to regularly check that these items are working properly during your fire risk assessment.
A full selection of fire safety equipment can be found here
Fire Risk Assessment
Every workplace must conduct a fire risk assessment and review it regularly.
During this assessment you must identify the fire hazards and those at risk, evaluate and reduce these risks, record your findings and prepare an emergency plan.
If you haven’t had a fire risk assessment completed recently, then you are likely due for another to ensure that you are complying with any changes to the law.
Fire Safety Training
You may consider providing your employees with the appropriate fire safety training so that they are aware of the hazards, precautions and procedures relating to fires and able to act accordingly in helping reduce these risks.
You must also train a member of staff, or two, for the position of fire marshal so that they can assist with fire risk assessments, training and the evacuation procedure.
Fire Evacuation Plan
Once all of the above has been put into place, you may now proceed to creating a fire evacuation plan.
This will require an understanding of the premises, safest routes out of the building and identifying a safe place to gather away from the premises once everyone has evacuated. If you would like a better understanding of how to create and implement such a plan then we have an online evacuation procedure training course here
Fire Drill Procedure
There’s really no point in having a fire evacuation plan if you do not communicate it to your staff and practice it on a regular basis.
This will enable you to ensure that your fire safety equipment is working correctly, your employees are aware of how to safely leave the premises should a fire occur, and that the evacuation plan runs quickly and smoothly.
With a regular practice in place, you can identify any improvements or adjustments that need to be made as the business grows or legislation changes.
Fire Safety Policy
All of the above steps should accumulate in a fire safety policy being written up and included in all employee handbooks so that your staff have a document to reference should they need a reminder of the policy that is in place.
It will also protect your business should there be an injury, or worse, as a result of a fire because proof of a working fire safety policy will assist in mitigating liability.
The policy should include details of the evacuation plan, any information about fire drills that may take place (such as when, how often etc.), a list of the fire marshals and any other information you feel relevant to fire safety.
To find out how we can help you with any of the above, give us a call on 01237 477 931 or head back to the website