Jane Embury looks at fire safety at Christmas.
It’s an uncertain time for all of us, and Christmas is already on the horizon.
But, after a year of disruption and lockdown, it will offer a brief period of sales respite for retailers. Indeed, some retailers are already planning recruitment programmes to attract temporary staff.
Our message is that, as part of that recruitment planning, retailers should also build in fire safety induction training, to keep themselves, customers and colleagues safe.
In the midst of Covid-19, fire safety training may not be uppermost in retailers’ minds. But it is a regulatory requirement, which needs planning and forethought.
It’s also a good opportunity to remind all staff of those safety rules. After a year many of us would like to forget, staff may well have forgotten some aspects of fire safety.
Retail managers have legal responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Order requires managers designated as responsible persons to carry out regular fire safety reviews.
It’s all about looking at every aspect of a business and making reasonable assessments of risk. By identifying areas of risk, mitigation strategies can be put in place.
In planning for 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.
Wrightstyle’s business 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 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. It’s not just about damage to stock or property, or the danger to people, but about continuity of operations.
Now is therefore a good time to look again at staff safety, and plan training for temporary staff. It would also be sensible to look again at wider fire safety strategies, including what active and passive measures are in place.
That includes having a containment strategy, so that fire damage can be minimised. External fire safety glazing or internal glass screens and doors could be part of a cost-effective answer.
It may not yet be Christmas, and we don’t yet know what Christmas will look like. But, at the very least, let’s plan for a fire safe Christmas.