Figures from the Home Office suggest that Fire and Rescue services respond to around 15,000 primary fires in commercial or non-dwelling buildings each year – that’s more than 300 a week. While the number of fatalities tends to be fairly low, indicating good evacuation procedures, the sheer number of fires occurring demonstrates that something needs to be done to improve fire prevention techniques for businesses.
Today, the Pyrotec team is going to be running through a list of ways that you can minimise the risk of fire in your business premises, ensuring that your building doesn’t become another statistic.
Fire risk assessment
If you want to minimise the risk of fire in your commercial premises, the first thing you are going to want to do is have a fire risk assessment carried out. Not only is this simply a good idea, it’s also mandatory if you are to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
If you aren’t sure, a fire risk assessment is essentially a process that looks to identify and eliminate any fire risks present in a particular building. Here are some of the core features of a fire risk assessment:
- Identify at risk people
- Recognise and respond to hazards and potential fire risks
- Determine fire safety equipment and assets
- Include and document information regarding further action
- Have a definitive date for a subsequent fire risk assessment
Common workplace fire hazards
Below, find some of the most common workplace fire hazards and how a fire risk assessment might suggest to respond to them:
- Smoking: It of course goes without saying that smoking should be done outside the business premises. To further minimise risk of a fire, provide designated smoking areas and accompanying signage, and cigarette bins.
- Faulty appliances: Neglect or misuse of electrical appliances or wiring can lead to a fire, so make sure that all appliances are properly PAT tested and looked after. Portable heaters in particular can easily cause fires when left next to soft furnishings, and it’s not uncommon for employees to use these in the winter months.
- Rubbish bins: Standard office waste such as paper can easily combust, especially if placed too close to a radiator or other heat source. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that waste bins are placed thoughtfully, ideally not too far away from a fire extinguisher of the appropriate category (in this case, a water extinguisher).
- Kitchen facilities and cooking: It’s not uncommon for offices to have an array of different cooking facilities for staff, and these can often be the most prominent fire hazards in a building. Appropriate signage, the encouragement of cleaning routines and the limiting of certain appliances such as microwaves and toasters is the best way to go about minimising the risk of a fire in an office kitchen.
Here at Pyrotec, we’ve carried out countless fire risk assessments over the years for a number of different businesses, so you can count on our experience and professionalism. All of our team are highly qualified specialists, so we can provide as much advice and guidance on preventative measures as you need. So, if you operate anywhere in Brighton, Eastbourne, Crawley or surrounding areas, contact us today. We’re always happy to help.