A Guide to Managing Workplace Fire Safety
A fire can have devastating consequences on your business and can cause fatal injuries to your employees. As an organisation you have a legal duty to manage Fire Safety within your premises.
Current Legislation to Protect Organisations and their Workers
- Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 the Responsible Person has duties under the Order to manage Fire Safety as so far as is reasonably practicable.
- In Scotland, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 supported by the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 places duties on the Duty Holder to manage Fire Safety.
To help reduce the likelihood of an outbreak of a fire and to comply with the current legislation you must have a Fire Risk Assessment in place. This assessment must be completed by a competent person. Wirehouse Employer Services can produce a Fire Risk Assessment for your premises.
Preventing the Causes of Fire
- Alongside the Fire Risk Assessment it is important to have your fixed main electrical installation inspected at least every 5 years (minimum).
- A number of fires have been found to start from an electrical fault so make sure you have your portable appliances tested. Your employees should carry out visual checks on portable appliances, checking the plugs and cables are in good condition with no signs of damage.
- To reduce the spread of a fire good housekeeping and correct storage of chemicals is crucial.
To alert occupants of a fire on the premises it is important to have a means of notifying them in an emergency, the best way of this is having a fully integrated alarm system. The detector heads must also get maintained as part of your servicing as dust in the detector head can lead to them not working effectively.
Protect Your Business
Wirehouse can carry out routine visits to your premises and carry out a detailed Fire Safety Inspection. This will ensure that you are legally compliant. We will advise on areas that need extra attention to help you become compliant. If for example, we identify a number of fire doors that are propped open, we will advise that you to close them, as fire doors are there to protect the fire escape route. If a fire door for example, requires to be propped open we will advise on different mechanisms to allow that to happen safely, for example, a Dorgard which releases the door on the sounding of the alarm.
Finally, routine monitoring is important. Designate an employee or yourself to carry out formal monthly checks, looking at the fire escape routes, are they clear? Be aware of the amount of combustibles on-site, i.e. if you have loads of empty cardboard boxes ensure that you regularly clear them into the recycling bin.
In the event of a fire occurring it is essential to demonstrate as so far as is reasonably practicable that you have implemented controls measures to manage Fire Safety within your premises, making sure that everything is recorded.
For advice on all aspects of Health and Safety, please contact our dedicated Wirehouse team.