Fire Safety in the Workplace Guide
Every year there are thousands of fires in non-dwelling buildings, which means there are countless examples of businesses and other commercial operations suffering from the catastrophic effects of fire. Not only does fire mean the risk of lost business, but worst of all it could lead to someone losing their life.
To help you do all you can to avoid this scenario, this month at LW Safety, we’ll talk you through fire safety in the workplace, including who is responsible, the type of equipment you should have and the safety procedures you can put into place.
Who is responsible for fire safety in the workplace
In any commercial premises, there will be a number of individuals responsible for ensuring that fire safety standards are met in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. These individuals are known as Responsible Persons, typical Responsible Person(s) are the building owner, the manager of the company in the building, a facilities manager or a landlord. The Responsible Person(s) will need to work together to ensure fire safety standards are maintained and adhered to, the Responsible Person(s) will need to cover a range of responsibilities, including:
- Having a fire risk assessment carried out and reviewed regularly
- Communicating any risks you’ve identified to your staff
- Implementing and maintaining appropriate fire safety measures
- Planning for emergencies (see fire safety procedures)
- Providing fire safety training and information for your staff
Fire safety equipment in the workplace
When it comes to protecting your staff and anyone in your building from harm, fire safety equipment is vital. Active fire safety equipment can include things such as sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers to help to put out a fire before it can spread (learn more about extinguishers here), while passive fire safety equipment includes things such as fire doors, adequate fire stopping and compartmentation, fire safety and exit signage and emergency escape lighting.
An absolute must for any commercial building is adequate fire detection, including the fire alarm itself to alert people to the danger. These come in a range of formats, with the size, shape and purpose of your building informing which type of fire alarm system you should have and where different equipment should be located.
Fire safety procedures
As the responsible person for your building or workplace, you’ll need to ensure that you have a fire evacuation plan in place. There are many factors to consider in this and you should be able to demonstrate that you’ve taken the following into account:
- Clear passage to all your escape routes
- Clear marking for escape routes
- Enough exits for the number of people in your building
- Emergency doors which people can easily open
- Emergency lighting in required areas
- Training to ensure people know which route to take
- A safe assembly point for staff
You should also keep in mind the need to cater for any special mobility issues, such as staff members who use wheelchairs or are visually impaired.
Another procedure you should regularly undertake is a fire risk assessment from a competent assessor. This will help to identify risks, evaluate the current state of your building and provide findings with recommendations for improvements to ensure you’re meeting your legal obligation to help protect people in the event of a fire.
LW Safety – Fire safety for your workplace
At LW Safety, we can ensure you get fire risk assessment from a qualified assessor and make recommendations if there are areas of improvement in your commercial fire safety plan. We also install and maintain fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, emergency lighting and more to help you meet your obligations and to keep your business safe from the threat of fire.
You can learn more about the fire safety rules for the workplace via the government website, or you can call our professional team to book a fire risk assessment and discuss fire safety equipment requirements for your premises.