It’s not quite Christmas, but it is time to start looking at Christmas fire safety.
The reason being that some companies are already planning recruitment programmes to attract temporary staff.
Part-time or seasonal staff need, as part of initial training, to have the fire safety knowledge to keep themselves, customers and colleagues safe. That needs planning and forethought.
But it’s also a good opportunity to remind permanent members of staff of those safety rules, because regular training is a requirement of fire regulations.
Put simply, senior managers must be aware of their legal responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Under it, managers designated as responsible persons must carry out regular reviews to ensure fire safety issues are identified. The key word is regular.
The most important duty of that responsible person, or people, is to look realistically at their business, make an assessment of possible risk. After that, to put in place strategies for dealing with it.
However, a responsible person doesn’t need to be an expert in fire safety; merely that he or she appoints someone who is. That someone is often an external advisor, and it all starts with a fire risk assessment.
For many companies Christmas may seem a long way away, but strategies to deal with fire aren’t just a seasonal issue.
It’s therefore a time for all companies to look holistically at fire safety, because companies often shut down for extended periods over Christmas.
In planning for fire safety, especially Christmas fire safety, the message is to keep it SIMPLE.
- Store stock safely: keep corridors, stairs and exits clear
- Identify alarm points so you can warn others
- Make sure doors are closed to stop fires from spreading
- Place things that catch fire away from things that cause fire
- Let someone know if you spot fire safety problems
- Ensure everyone knows what to do if a fire alarm sounds.
It’s a simple message we endorse, because our business at Wrightstyle is all about fire safety. In particular, the ways in which fire can be safely contained and, therefore, more easily dealt with.
Our steel glazing systems are designed to contain fire for up to two hours and minimise damage. That allows people to escape, and gives fire and rescue services the time to deal with the emergency.
Because all fires, large or small, are an emergency for any business, whatever their size. It’s not just about damage to stock or property, let alone the danger to people. At the very least it’s about continuity of operations.
It’s therefore a good time to look again at staff safety training, and extend that training to temporary staff. It would also be prudent to examine your company’s wider fire safety strategies, and the active and passive measures you have in place.
That includes containment strategy and how your building or business would cope with a fire, or the aftermath of one. External fire safety glazing or internal glass screens and doors could be part of a cost-effective answer.
So, it’s not really about Christmas just yet (thankfully). But it is about fire and the potential consequences of it.