Jane Embury offers from Christmas advice to companies on fire safety.
Tis the season to be jolly but, in the workplace, it’s also the season to reassess fire safety.
Ahead of the festivities, we would recommend that companies look again at their fire risk assessments.
Every company must have an appointed responsible person charged with fire safety, and now is a good time to have a good look at it.
That includes identifying hazards such as flammable materials and making sure they’re stored safely and away from heat sources.
Escape routes should be clearly marked and uncluttered, have emergency lighting and, where appropriate, be protected.
Festive and jolly
Our advanced glazing systems, whether internal screens and doors or external curtain walling are designed to do just that.
Many companies also like to make their premises look festive and jolly with Christmas trees and decorations.
If you’re putting lights on your tree use LED lights as they don’t emit heat and always, always switch everything off at night.
It’s also a good idea not to overload electrical sockets and to make sure that every plug has an appropriate fuse. Remember, Christmas trees are flammable – so don’t put any flammable materials near it!
The same common-sense approach applies to hung decorations, often made from paper. They should never be hung near lights or lamps.
We also regularly advise companies to make sure they know what to do if there is a fire and the location and use of fire extinguishers.
Over Christmas, many companies take on temporary seasonal staff. They should also be fire trained and know emergency escape routes and external muster points.
It’s an obvious point, but test your fire alarms regularly. This is particularly important at this time of year, when many businesses close down for a lengthy period.
Lastly, have a good look at all the fire safety equipment you have. Are they all in the best position and clearly visible?
And are they the most appropriate type of extinguisher? The most common fires start with an electrical fault and they need a dry-powder or carbon-dioxide extinguisher.
Water or foam will deal with most other fires. So, make sure your staff know the difference and what extinguisher to use.
But in any fire the key is containment; to limit the fire’s spread.
That’s what our advanced systems are there to do, protecting people and the property and assets of a company.
Remember, a large proportion of companies go out of business after a serious fire.
So, our advice is to have a good like at your fire safety systems and processes, make sure everyone is trained.
And if you have any worries about your premises not being able to contain fire, and therefore your ability to continue trading, talk to us.