Why is fire safety important?

Can I be of assistance?

Fires occurring in the workplace can lead to loss of life, injuries and serious financial consequences. These impacts on businesses can result in a cessation of trade, the loss of vital company information and damage from heat, smoke and water. In the few minutes that it will take you to read this, a fire will probably have occurred somewhere in the UK with even a small fire able to cause major disruption and financial loss.

 

Are you and your staff ready?

The risk of fire is ever present and, as an employer, you need to understand the scale of the risk and the hazards that are posed to your company. Having a fire risk assessment will, apart from being legally required, help you identify the potential consequences should a fire occur. However, unless the person carrying out the fire risk assessment is fully competent with fire hazard identification it can be surprisingly hard to identify the potential fire hazards, problems with your means of escape, identifying possible fire spread routes etc., and what needs to be done to alleviate the situation.

 

Unfortunately, research shows that you have less than 10 minutes from the time of ignition before the fire develops beyond a point where First Aid fire fighting with a fire extinguisher can control it, and this includes the time it has taken to detect the fire. In the region of 37,000 UK workplaces suffer the consequences of a fire in a normal year and Home Office statistics show that approximately 80% of small to medium companies in the UK who suffer a major fire will be out of business within 2 years.

 

Fire Safety Legislation underwent a major change in 2006 with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. The effect of this legislation has place the responsibility for the safety of the building firmly upon a designated 'responsible person' who will be required to ensure the safety, in the event of a fire, of anyone working within the premises, anyone who is lawfully on the premises (customers, tradesmen etc) and anyone who may be affected by a fire occurring in the premises (adjacent or nearby buildings). The responsible person must;

 

  • Assess the risk from fire in the premises
  • Take steps to remove or reduce those risks
  • Meet requirements on the Means of Escape, Fire Fighting Equipment, Signage, Fire Alarms, Emergency Lighting and their continued maintenance.
  • Take measures to mitigate the spread of fire in the premises
  • Train your staff in fire safety both on induction and regularly throughout their employment