What Is Fire Safety Awareness?
Do you know how to minimise fire risk, and what to do in the event of a fire?
Fire Safety Awareness is being aware of any potential hazards and promoting fire safety measures to address them. All working environments should adopt this concept. Failure to do so could mean risking lives in the event of an emergency. This is a list of basic points to consider in any working environment.
Fire Risk Assessment
Every work place should have a Fire Risk Assessment, and sharing this among appropriate members of staff will promote Fire Safety Awareness. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to most UK businesses, and requires a Fire Risk Assessment to be undertaken. If there are 5 or more staff then it must be formally recorded.
As well as being a legal requirement, with substantial penalties for non-compliance, having a Fire Risk Assessment in place is crucial to ensuring the safety of your colleagues.
You should have an evacuation plan in place which relies on a protected route to the final exit from the building in the event of an emergency.
Look around your work place, where are the emergency exit routes? Are they clearly marked? Would you or a colleague or visitor be able to leave the building quickly and safely when the alarm is sounded?
Most work places should have at least two exit routes from a given point, but this is not always possible, and this requirement can depend on the number of employees and the layout of the building. If you are unsure of how many emergency exit routes you need, we would recommend you conduct a Fire Risk Assessment.
Fire Alarms and Extinguishers
Imagine that a fire has started. You need to warn everyone. Have you tested your fire alarm system recently?
Are the fire extinguisher locations and types clearly marked?
Fire Alarm System
38% of fire-related deaths are in buildings with no smoke alarms. 21% had faulty smoke alarms, and a further 46% had missing or disconnected batteries. Having working fire safety equipment is critical to ensure safety. Equipment must be tested regularly and efficiently.
Most businesses must have an acceptable and effective fire alarm system; this is set by the UK fire regulations. Conventional, addressable or wireless, the type of fire alarm needs to match your business and be as effective as possible. It must be installed by a qualified professional and maintained by a competent person.
Regular fire alarm testing is essential and usually follows the requirements of BS5839 – six monthly inspection (3 monthly in larger premises) and weekly testing by the employer. This regime is to prevent false alarms and to ensure that the system will effectively alert staff and visitors in the event of fire.
Fire extinguishers should be placed strategically on fire exit routes and in the vicinity of specific fire risk areas. The exact locations should be chosen in consultation with a competent person who understand the different types of fire risk and which extinguisher are appropriate.
They need to be inspected annually by a competent person and re-charged periodically per the schedules given in BS5306. Additionally they should be visually inspected by a member of staff at least every month. This is to ensure that the unit has not been used or tampered with and the pressure gauge is still showing correct internal pressure.
Who is Responsible?
Under the Fire Safety Regulations 2006, employers have primary responsible for ensuring the safety of their staff. Employers also have a duty to train their staff to be aware of the potential hazards and control measures, and what to do in case of fire. Larger businesses will need to appoint fire wardens to assist with this.
If you find a fault.
If you find a fault in your systems or equipment, it must be reported. Addressing these faults can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. We would recommend you check your equipment as regularly as practicable.
If your building is not currently complying with legislation, go to our (insert link: “Fire Risk Assessment page”) for more information on how we can help. Red Box Fire Control carry out a professional fire risk assessments for all types of business and help you to ensure safety for your staff and visitors in the event of an emergency.