Call - 01753 360193

Fire safety advice for fire wardens

Advice for Fire Wardens relating to fire safety in the workplace

The risk of fire is present in commercial properties as well as residential ones; which may mean that your workplace, or in fact, your business and employees should be protected against this threat.

It is the legal requirement of the building owner or the employer to ensure that fire safety has been taken into consideration in the building.

This responsibility falls in the following areas:

● Risk assessments, both to assess your level of risk in the building as a whole and also those within the building who may require special help in the case of an evacuation.
● Providing necessary fire safety equipment throughout the building and arranging for these items to be maintained.
● Offer instruction, information and training for those who work within the building to ensure that everyone is aware of the action that is required should a fire occur.

We mention risk assessments in the first bullet point above, but what does a risk assessment of your premises actually entail?

You will need to look at; the chance of a fire developing in the building, whether a fire would result in people being put into danger and if your current fire safety precautions are suitable, or if you should improve them and how. You should also record what you find from this assessment and advise your employees.

During the fire risk assessment you will also need to review your own fire evacuation plan to ensure that it is still relevant.

One key area to keep in mind is whether you have any materials around the building that may become a source of fuel or even ignition for a fire. These include general waste, paper, wood, flammable liquids and even paints and varnishes, all of which are of concern with regards to fire safety, as they are often a target for arsonists (See here for more information on how fire wardens can protect against arson).

 Once you have identified these areas of risk then you can begin to implement measures that will reduce the effect that they may have on your own threat of fire. Some of these actions include; removing unnecessary heat sources from the building, regularly servicing all electrical equipment within the company, removing flammable materials and replacing with less flammable (if possible), and if not, then store these products correctly. You can also ensure that all employees are aware of their part to play, either by undergoing a fire warden training course, or perhaps by not allowing waste materials to build up and also regularly cleaning any electrical equipment to rid it of grease and oil.

You must always try to keep sources of fuel away from sources of ignition. For example, do not store papers and wood next to any heat sources, as this poses a great risk to your building and the people within it.

Additionally to taking out measures to prevent fires, you will also need to have in place a method of escape if a fire occurs. You should have fire alarms fitted throughout the building, giving all employees warning to the fire and allowing them plenty of time to escape. You will also need to devise an exit path for all employees or visitors to the building to use, this will need to be clearly displayed throughout the building and be communicated to anyone who is there. These routes and the smoke alarms should be checked regularly to ensure that they are not faulty and that the path to escape is clear.

Just by following these simple points you will be on the path to protecting your employees and your business, and if the worst should happen to you, you will be thankful that you put these things in place.