Fire Safety – Simple Steps To Protect Your Business From The Risk Of

Strategic-Planning Under current UK law businesses are now required to undertake certain measures to ensure the safety of their premises and the people who work there. The main elements of the law relate to the new duty to ensure that a Fire Risk Assessment is carried out. All a Fire Risk Assessment really does is give a structure to a series of fire safety measures which it would be sensible to do anyway. We all have a vested interest in protecting our businesses and staff from any risk or disruption, let alone one as potentially disastrous as a fire. There are several simple steps to carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment, but much of it is applying common sense to identifying what may cause a fire, and what you can do to reduce the risk of this happening. If you consider the following fire safety issues and record your findings, you will have completed a significant chunk of your Fire Risk Assessment already, as well as reducing the chances of a fire breaking out on your premises: Think about possible fire hazards, what could catch fire and what could burn? What can you do to reduce the chances of this happening? You need an efficient fire warning system in place. This will vary depending on your business, from someone shouting ‘FIRE!’ to a sophisticated automatic fire detection system. Carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment will help you decide what type of system is going to be suitable for your premises. There is no requirement to have an automated system if that would be completely over the top and inappropriate for your workplace. Check that you have the appropriate number and type of fire extinguishers in the correct places throughout your premises. For basic water extinguishers in a normal environment, you need one extinguisher per 200 square metres of floor space. More specialised fire extinguishers need to be close to the relevant hazards. For example, a fire blanket in a catering establishment needs to be in the kitchen near the cookers. Are your fire exit routes clearly marked with ‘pictograph’ fire exit signs? From each point on an escape route you should be able to see the next sign. Are your escape routes adequate for each work area? You should ideally have at least two possible routes from each area, in case one is blocked by fire. Are your escape routes completely free from obstruction at all times? If an exit door is locked or blocked by heavy equipment, it may as well not be there. Exit doors should be ‘idiot proof’ and require no special knowledge in order to open them. Your escape routes and exits must have suitable emergency lighting. This must be properly maintained, which is best done under a service contract. Your staff must be trained so that they know what to do in the event of a fire. It may be appropriate to give special training as Fire Marshalls to some staff who have specific duties in a fire. Appropriate action for staff in an emergency should be recorded in an Emergency Plan. Your Emergency Plan does not need to be unnecessarily elaborate if your business is small and straightforward. A single sheet with your evacuation procedure on may be sufficient. Your plan should also consider things like action to take if a neighbouring building catches fire. About the Author: By: Rosario Berry – Millions of factories around the world are making the use of Manufacturing Execution System for optimizing their industrial processes. 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