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The Management Of Fire Safety – 4 Red Hot Tips To Shield Your Business

Although the overall number of fires continues to fall in the UK alone, fire still remains a huge risk to both households and businesses, not to mention public places. However, the good news is that we can dramatically lower these risks as most fires are completely preventable.

We understand that a risk assessment template won’t fit all businesses, but we do believe that there are some steps that every business can take in order to compile and perform an effective fire risk assessment, which will help to protect your staff and your business, and of course meet your legal duties under the fire safety order.

Below you will find 5 tips to follow in order to shield your business from fire safety risks.

1. Identify the hazards and risks

Before you can go about protecting anything, you must identify what could be a potential risk in regards to fire safety. The main thing you are looking out for is likely ignition sources. For those of you that don’t already know, ignition sources includes anything that has the ability to get hot enough to ignite materials found close by. A good way of spotting these ignition sources is to look out for indications of what we like to call ‘near-misses’. This includes charred electrical plugs, cigarette burns and scorch marks.

Although anything that burns is fuel for a fire, some are more hazardous than others. Look for materials that will burn reasonably easily and are in large enough quantities to act as fuel to a fire.

2. Who is at risk?

This part of the assessment is probably the most vital of all, as we all know too well how fire can have a shattering effect on human life. This step involves making an assessment of who is at risk in the workplace. The first thing you need to make note of is how many people are on the premises working and how many other persons are frequently on the premises as visitors or customers. It may be that you need to implement a log-in system to ensure you know who is on the premises at all times.

It is also important that you take into account those who may struggle to evacuate the premises quickly, for example an elderly client or a disabled person.

3. Calculate, decrease and eliminate

This is the step that will make all of the difference. Now that you have successfully identified the risks, hazards and who is at risk, you can set about evaluating these risks. The first thing to calculate is the likelihood of a fire starting. The second thing to evaluate is what items need to be removed and what items need to stay. If items that need to stay are deemed as hazardous it is important to put safety measures in place to reduce the risks. Remove all sources of ignition you found and remember, the higher the fire risk, the higher your safety measures need to be.

4. Record, plan, review inform and train

Once you have carried out a fire safety assessment, you should record any action that has been taken as well as makes notes on the entire process, including the risks and hazards that you found. Recent changes in the law mean that all employers with five or more employees must record fire safety information.

Due to this recent change many businesses are benefitting from having a fully trained fire warden on the premises. Often companies find it useful to send employees on fire safety training courses to ensure all workers know how to react in the case of an emergency whilst also providing information on how to assess risks, regularly review and reduce hazards.

Posted by admin on Thursday, June 19th, 2014

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