In our latest article, we will take a look at the main risks involved with fire safety in the workplace.
On average there are around 22,000 fires in workplaces each year, many of these can be avoided with adherence to rules and regulations. Did you know that over a quarter of workplace fires are actually caused by faulty or incorrectly used electrical equipment? This number could be vastly reduced by following manufacturers guidelines and ensuring PAT testing is up to date.
A large number of workplace fires are down to poor storage of waste products – for example, overflowing bins, incorrectly positioned heaters, leaving poorly maintained electrical equipment too close to flammable materials. No one wants a fire and no one can fully prevent a fire hazard, but by having a well followed plan, with staff that are trained on recognising the risks, workplace fires could be reduced hugely.
Workplace Fire Safety – Legal Responsibility
There are a number of legal responsibilities as a business owner / manager that you must follow. As an example, although PAT testing is not actually required for all electrical equipment, the law does state that electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. This means that although you do not legally have to conduct PAT testing, it should be recommended that you do – mainly for the safety of your employees and customers. (more info here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq-portable-appliance-testing.htm ).
Fire Risk Assessment
Having a Fire Risk Assessment is regulation that must be adhered to. This will help a business owner / manager identify the risks in their premises to allow them to put in place fire safety measures to minimise risk. For example, having a deep fat fryer in the kitchen should have the appropriate fire blanket or extinguisher placed nearby, with staff trained on how to use it.
Every business must have a designated Responsible Person, who’s role is to ensure fire safety risks are managed and regulations are adhered to. Generally this person will be trained in fire safety. Fire safety equipment is essential – the legislation says that “appropriate fire-fighting equipment” must be provided. Again, without a fire risk assessment, the “appropriate” part of this regulation cannot be fulfilled.
Fire Safety Signs
Fire safety signs are also needed, at a minimum 2 signs are required a Fire Action Notice and an Extinguisher ID sign. This is the bare minimum and following a Fire Risk Assessment, you may need more.
Emergency Lighting may be needed if the building your business is in does not have enough “borrowed” light to light up the emergency exits or the escape route in the case of a power failure. British standards recommend that emergency lighting is tested once per year to ensure it lasts long enough for everyone to safely exit the building, this is usually for 3 hours.
Beacon Fire Protection
As you may know, Beacon Fire Protection have a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in all the above. If you are unsure of any of the aspects of fire safety in the workplace, then we are more than happy to advise and assist. Just get in touch via our contact page.