Who is responsible for fire safety in the workplace?
By law every employer is obligated to implement fire safety in the workplace, but what does that responsibility include?
Fires risks are prevalent in all workplaces, whether they be electrical wires, cigarettes, left over cardboard, or even the microwave. Employers should keep fire safety in the forefront of their minds and must always work to minimise the danger of fire risks.
In a place of work those responsible include, the employer, the owner, the landlord, the occupier or anyone else with control and authority regarding the premises, such as, a facilities manager or risk assessor.
To ensure fire safety best practice the responsible person must:
1. Carry out fire risk assessments of the premises regularly and ensure they are reviewed often.
2. Maintain Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). Electrical fires are the most common type of workplace fires. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition.
3. Keep all fire awareness signage visible, including:
• Fire Action Notice – this explains what to do in case of fire and is mandatory for all premises.
• Fire Extinguisher ID sign – this explains and locates each type of extinguisher.
• Fire exit signs – this shows how to exit in case of fire.
• Fire alarm call point signs – these identify where to activate the fire alarm.
• Other fire equipment signs – if you have a hose reel or a dry riser, you must signpost where they are.
• Warning & Prohibition signs– Highlights danger, these are needed if there’s extra risk of fire on your premises.
4. Test all fire doors regularly, we have a handy guide on how to this here.
5. Educate your staff on how to be accountable for fire safety in the workplace. This could be by creating a handbook for each employee, hiring a fire safety training provider to run a course or nominate staff members to be fire wardens. Proactive employees reduce risks.
6. Test your smoke alarms at least monthly, or even better weekly! Also, have regular fire drills, this will make subsequently make certain that staff are aware of procedures.
7. Constantly work to reduce risks, electrical wires running across the floor should instantly ring alarm bells, keep an eye out for them when walking through the office. Know your fire exits, keep them clear and well-lit at all times.
8. Finally, put a recycling plan in place, another common cause of fire is carelessness with flammable materials. Therefore, combustible materials such as paper, wood and cardboard should be recycled and taken off premises as soon as they are finished with.
Remember, keeping your workplace fire safe is the law. It’s also worth noting that 76% of primary fires are caused accidentally, reducing the likelihood of accidents is imperative if you want to save money and stress.
Timmins Group can provide all of your fire door maintenance requirements, for more information enquire here.
For more fire safety information consult the GOV UK website.