Although the UK stopped observing fire safety week in favour for more frequent and specific fire awareness campaigns, this time of year is still the spiritual home of fire safety week.
The UK records over 22,000 non-residential fires every year, the majority of which occur in the workplace, but how can we avoid them? Here, we share our top 5 tips for preventing fire in the workplace.
1. Keep Things Clean and Tidy
It may sound obvious, but this is an often overlooked step. Keeping your workplace clean and tidy, both customer-facing areas and staff areas is vitally important to preventing fires.
Clutter in hallways and common areas not only present obstacles and trip hazards when trying to reach fire extinguishers or exits, but can also provide more fuel for any fires.
Ensuring any equipment, tools, furniture, or waste items are stored and disposed of correctly will help keep a fire contained and provide clear access to extinguishers.
2. Conduct Regular Risk Assessment Checks
This is a legal requirement for a reason.
As a business evolves and changes, so should its fire prevention procedures.
Through assessments, you’ll regularly review your fire prevention protocols to ensure they are still effective and up to standard. It will also allow you to catch any new risks that need to be accounted for, and any repeated hazards that may need to be addressed.
3. Test Your Equipment
Another obvious point, but when running the day-to-day operations of a business it can be easy to forget to test your alarms.
Scheduling regular checks and assigning the responsibility to an employee or colleague will ensure they are tested habitually and any repairs or replacements arranged as soon as possible.
4. Safely Storing Flammable Materials and Chemicals
If your workplace uses flammable chemicals or materials, storing them safely is crucial to preventing fires.
Keeping these chemicals and materials in a secure, dry, and ventilated closet or storage cupboard, ideally with a fire door, will keep them safe and separate from the rest of your workplace.
It’s also a good idea to keep any firefighting equipment, such as an extinguisher or a fire blanket, near the closet to ensure quick access in case a fire does start.
5. Educate Staff and Colleagues
This could well be the most important tip. If you educate all staff about the dangers of fire and how to prevent and react to it, the previous points will be picked up if your fire safety officer misses something.
This will help prevent a fire spreading through your workplace, as everyone will be prepared and know how to deal with a fire.
There are wide number of courses out there you can send your colleagues on that will supply them with all the necessary skills and knowledge.
Fire Safety at Safer at Work
Safer at Work’s mission is to deliver benchmark health and safety training to a wide variety of industries.
Specialising in training in the wind industry, our fire awareness course provides attendees with all the relevant skills and knowledge needed to control and mitigate fire risks while working in the field.
To discuss your training needs in more depth, you can also contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on +44 (0)330 660 0959.