Workplace fire prevention is an essential element of staff training for all business across the United Kingdom. Not only can fire safety training help you to understand the various risks associated with a workplace fire, but it will also teach you exactly how to respond to a fire and the correct processes you should be following in order to reduce the likelihood of your business going up in flames.
There is always a possibility that a fire could break out in your workplace. Simply put, no one and no building is ever guaranteed to be safe from a fire. However, the good news is that effective fire safety measures can (and should) be put into place to give your business the lowest risk of a fire starting on premises.
This starts with a quality fire safety training course.
How likely is it that I’ll need to use my workplace fire prevention plan?
Of course, alongside brushing up on your fire safety knowledge with an accredited fire training course, you should also be aware that some work environments are more at risk than others simply because of mistakes made by staff and building managers.
Below, we’ll run through a list of some of the most common ways in which a fire can break out and cause serious (and potentially life-threatening) damage in your workplace. To reduce the likelihood of a fire breaking out, you’ll want to avoid all of these!
1. Workplace Fire Prevention – Forgetting to test your fire alarms
We recommend that every building should have a fire alarm, and it’s highly likely that your workspace already has one installed. However, this useful bit of equipment won’t be of much use to you when a fire breaks out if it isn’t working.
All fire alarms must be tested periodically to ensure that they’re in good working order. You can keep track of when you last tested your fire alarms by implementing a schedule and appointing a member of staff such as your designated fire warden to follow it.
Keep a record of every time you test your alarms (we recommend you test yours weekly) and be sure that any maintenance checks are also scheduled regularly. The sooner you are alerted to a fire, the more time you will have to evacuate, and you increase the amount of time the emergency services has to tackle the blaze before any irreparable damage is done.
2. Overcrowding your storage cupboards
Okay, so your office might not be the tidiest place in the world, but you should know that the messier your storage areas are, the higher the likelihood of needing workplace fire prevention. This is particularly true of combustible materials such as paper and cardboard, so if you know of any storage areas where there are stacks of old documents or boxes upon boxes of unused materials, it might be time to suggest a spring clean.
Ideally, you should arrange to clear out any unwanted material once a year, or more often if you work in a business where there is a regular build-up of combustible materials in storage. All it takes is for one person to flick a lighter or drop a cigarette butt close to a combustible material, and within seconds, your whole storage room could be up in flames.
3. Letting leaves pile up in your staff car park or around your building
You might not think it, but piles of leaves and litter in your car park or anywhere close to your building can also increase the risk of fire. Similar to above, all it takes is for one person to drop a cigarette butt on the floor outside your building, and a small fire in a scattered pile of leaves could quickly lead to a building fire for your business.
To avoid this risk, be sure to sweep your premises regularly and pick up any litter you see. Correctly dispose of leaves and litter rather than letting them pile up in any given area onsite and you will minimise the risk of combustion.
4. Blocking a fire exit that’s key to your workplace fire prevention
Most business premises will have a fire door, but even if your business doesn’t, be certain to never block entrances, exits, or fire doors for any length of time, for any purpose. A fire could break out at any moment and this could be your only escape route.
You should also be mindful of the pathway to your fire door. Keeping the space around a fire door clear is just as important as making sure nothing is blocking you from opening it. In the event of a fire, you need to be prepared for low visibility (due to thick smoke), so make sure there is a clear pathway toward your fire, entrance, and exit doors from all possible locations in the building. This means no piling boxes in narrow entryways or cluttering floorspace with too much equipment.
5. Plugging too many devices into electrical sockets
Workplace fire prevention can be hampered by overloading electrical sockets and adaptors with too many plugs. If you use extension cables with multiple plug sockets, you should never “add” to these with other adaptors or multi-socket extensions. Doing this can lead quickly to the electrical socket overheating, and this can result in deadly fire.
Always be mindful that the electrical equipment you are using is safe and conforms to British safety standards. In many business, regular PAT testing should be carried out on all electrical devices that will be used onsite.
6. Neglecting your fire safety responsibilities
Human error cannot be totally eliminated, but you can train yourself and your staff to know the basics of fire safety so that a dependable workplace fire prevention plan is in place.
Our accredited online fire training courses are a convenient solution if you would like immediate fire safety training. Alternatively, why not take a look at our face-to-face fire safety courses and have one of our experienced ex-emergency services personnel come to your premises?
For more information, please get in touch with us by calling 01327 552160, use the live chat feature available on this website, or email us at email@example.com today.