A fire in the workplace is the kind of risk that many businesses put off thinking about. It is a fairly rare occurrence, but if one happens, the effects can be extremely grave and hard to recover from. Consequences could include death or severe injury, as well as loss of property, data, plant or machinery, severely impacting your organisation. The Civil Contingencies Service states that 80% of businesses that suffer a major disaster, such as fire, go out of business within 3 years.
So reducing the risk of fire to the lowest possible level is critical. There are several different elements which combine in order to do this, from assessing your workplace and checking that all fire-detecting and fire-fighting equipment is functioning, to drafting evacuation plans, and training staff in evacuation procedures and the use of fire extinguishers.
That can be a lot of work, and it requires a lot of specialist knowledge, which is why using a health and safety company, like Amalgamate, can help to put your mind at rest that you are doing everything you need to.
The Fire Risk Assessment
The first vital step to prevent fire in the workplace is to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment. This will establish where danger lurks at your property, and what specific risks are relevant to the premises. It must be conducted by a competent person and reviewed regularly to make sure that nothing is being missed.
Amalgamate have provided FRAs to a wide range of clients, including for A-listed buildings of national significance, commercial buildings, hotels, offices, leisure facilities, breweries and hospitality venues. So whatever your line of business, we’re ready to help.
We provide you with a clearly laid out report which will give you all the guidance you need to make the changes that will protect your organisation, as well as keeping you in line with all your legal obligations.
Our assessors are true experts – they’re all former fire officers, with experience and qualifications in a range of specialist subjects, including fire regulations, human behaviour in fire situations, and fire alarm systems. They have a thorough understanding of the contributory factors that allow fires to occur, and the means of preventing them.
The Fire Safety Plan
Equally important to the prevention of fire in the workplace is your Fire Safety Plan, which should consider how you can reduce the likelihood and spread of a fire, how warning will be given in the case of a fire, what equipment is, or should be, provided to fight a fire, the action that should be taken in the event of a fire, how to safely evacuate all employees, visitors, and vulnerable people, and what fire safety training staff require.
Amalgamate, with the help of our fire safety experts, can help you to develop your Fire Safety Plan.
Staff Fire Safety Training
Finally, staff training plays an often underestimated role in preventing fire in the workplace.
Companies are required by law to have enough designated Fire Wardens to cover the size of the building, its number of occupants, and the risk level of the business. Amalgamate would always recommend that you have at least two trained Fire Wardens to help ensure that holiday and sickness absence are covered.
We offer Fire Warden training courses that are delivered by highly experienced professionals, who have worked for many years in the UK Fire and Rescue services as operational firefighters and fire safety educators. This means that they have the knowledge and experience to deliver courses that are relevant, realistic, and interesting.
We run practical sessions, where the trainees head outside to take part in live fire training under controlled conditions. This gives them the opportunity to extinguish a real fire, using the same extinguishers that are used in your workplace. The instructor will work with the trainees to ensure the best, most realistic experience in a safe environment.
The more staff members you have who are well-trained in fire safety strategies – who have been shown how to use fire extinguishers (and, crucially, know when it is appropriate to try to tackle a fire themselves), who ensure that escape routes are kept unobstructed, and who know by heart the procedures to follow – can make the difference between a small incident, and a potentially tragic event.
Unfortunately, companies often have a Fire Safety Plan that sits in a folder, fulfilling legal requirements, but that staff members are unfamiliar with.
Ensuring that Fire Safety Plans are communicated to employees, fully understood, and actively integrated into working practices, requires a pro-active approach that includes regular staff training/instruction and fire drills.
How to Get Help with Preventing Fire in the Workplace
If you would like to know more about fire safety or to enquire about our range of services, call us on 0141 244 0181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.