March 2022

A fire is one of the costliest hazards that could ever happen to your commercial property, so mitigating the risks of fires and understanding what to do if one ever occurs is vital. Implementing the proper procedures and taking caution can help to prevent a fire from ever occurring. Protecting your workforce is paramount, and the health and safety of those individuals should be at the core of your business.

But do not fear! If you are not sure about how to protect your property, as well as those that work within it, then this post is ideal for you. We will explore the best practices when it comes to workplace safety, from risk assessments to training.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment

One of the most critical parts of fire safety in the workplace is conducting thorough and frequent risk assessments. A fire risk assessment will allow you to fully assess the premises and identify what you need to do to prevent a fire and keep your property and people safe. When it comes to carrying out the assessment there are 5 core steps to ensure that the process is done correctly:

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Identify the people that are at potential risk
  3. Evaluate, remove or reduce these risks
  4. Keep a record of your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training
  5. Review and update the fire risk assessment on a regular basis

Without understanding the risks and weaknesses within your commercial property, it is not possible to understand the measures that need to be taken to ensure that the property and people within it are protected. It is important to conduct a site-specific fire risk assessment as your property could present different risks to others.

The risk assessment may also identify the need for firefighting equipment, including

  • Fire extinguishers – multiple types may be required.
  • Fire blankets
  • Fire buckets
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Foam systems
  • Waterspray systems
  • And more….

To learn more about fire risk assessments visit here.

Fire Detection & Alarm Systems

Another key practice is to ensure that you have a fire alarm system installed on your property. In the result of a fire occurring, it must be detected quickly to avoid damage, serious injury or worse. Although fire can be detected by people, manual fire detection can often be too late, so ensuring that you have a fire detection system in place can make all the difference. The importance of a fire alarm system cannot be understated. Not only do fire alarm systems detect fires early, but they also increase reaction time, which can reduce property damage, prevent smoke inhalation, save lives, and prompt the necessary response from the fire brigade and everyone within immediate danger.

Means of Fire Escapes

No matter how quickly a fire grows and spreads, there should always be an opportunity for people to turn their back on the fire and exit via a smoke-free and safe route. The ideal escape route with always be over a short distance and will accommodate for disabled or elderly people. These routes should never be blocked under any circumstances and should have emergency lighting and escape route signage installed to ensure that everybody knows the safest exit routes.

Choose a Fire Assembly Point

In the unfortunate event of a fire, making sure that everyone within the building is out of the premises safely and accounted for is one of the main reasons why having fire assembly points are so important. The fire safety assembly point also provides the benefit of allowing people to calm down in a safe space and allows anyone who needs medical attention to be attended to.  

The fire safety assembly point should be in a location far enough away from the possibility of smoke, fire or debris that could injure or harm anyone. It should also not be somewhere where any emergency services would be blocked. If necessary, there may need to be several points so people can access them easily no matter where they are in the building. The ideal fire assembly point should not be located where people could be at further risk of other dangers, such as across a road.

Fire Safety Training

Fire safety training must be provided to all employees that operate on the premises, no matter how little or often. Of course, training will differ depending on the premises and is likely to be different for all commercial properties, but in general, fire safety training should:

  • Reflect any finds from the risk assessment
  • Explain any and all emergency procedures
  • Explain what the duties and responsibilities of the staff are
  • Be hosted in working hours with refresher training frequently
  • Be simple, and easy to follow and understand
  • Include fire drills and tests

Routine testing and servicing

Testing of your fire alarm should be conducted regularly – it’s a great idea to set up a schedule so that testing isn’t forgotten e.g. 11am every Tuesday - make sure staff are aware that tests are taking place. Fire drills with all staff leaving the premises and meeting at the fire assembly point should also be scheduled and the procedure should be assessed to check that it works effectively.

Professional servicing of your fire alarm may also be a requirement for Insurance. If so, ensure that your fire alarm maintenance company visits routinely to conduct a service. Your Emergency Lighting system such also be tested as this could be the difference between life and death where smoke or a power outage caused by a fire reduces visibility.

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, you are guaranteed the best possible fire protection when you choose Lynx Fire and Security. For more information on our commercial fire alarm systems, or to find out if we serve your area, get in touch with us today or view our areas covered

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