7% of all fire fatalities last year occurred on non-residential premises, however this percentage should and could be lower. Failure to prevent a fire can cause damage to your building as well as your reputation as a company or worse still, the loss of a life.
As a professional business, it is of paramount importance for a fire prevention plan to be in place, to protect your staff and to protect the public. JCW is a company with 25 years of experience in life safety system design, installation and maintenance, and have provided some best preparation practices in case of a Fire Emergency at your premise.
First thing’s first, there’s absolutely no benefits in poor housekeeping. Anything left laying around can be a safety hazard, they may either cause a fire, fuel a fire or become a trip hazard during an evacuation process. Boxes and package material are the most common fire hazard. Whether you are a fashion retailer, café or office, make sure these are cleared up immediately after unpacking and put away into a metal bin or skip with a fitted lid.
The Prevention Plan
A Fire Prevention Plan assigns individuals within the work force to take responsibility, recognise and raise the alarm on materials that are combustible, heat producing, or are a fire hazard and make the necessary arrangements to make them safe. The Fire Prevention Plan should be made available to all employees in written form, as well as made clear via verbal communication, so that there are no doubts.
Best practice: a team of willing individuals can be trained on the fire emergency procedures, they will be responsible and oversee fire safety and prevention methods throughout the premise and will provide assistance and guidance during a fire emergency.
Assign a Trained Personnel
Every employer should have an assigned person in a health and safety role so that staff receive the latest required training and updates on health and safety regulations. Every premise should also have an assigned personnel to carry out regular tests on the fire alarm and emergency lights to insure all fire safety systems are in working condition and has enough power.
As well as the preventative measure mentioned above, to help prevent electrical fires, electrical items should be PAT tested to ensure they are not faulty. An Electrical Installation Condition Report (Fixed Wire Test) should be conducted regularly (interval depends on the type of premise). Emergency lighting systems should also be subjected to a 3 hour test on an annual basis to make sure the lamps and batteries fitted are fully capable.
Call an expert
Appoint an accredited company to provide fire protection maintenance services, they will carry out safety tests and repairs to your fire alarms, blankets, extinguishers and sprinklers. If you do not currently have sufficient fire prevention equipment installed, the same maintenance companies very often provide the design and installation services as well. Always use fire retardant equipment where possible.
When you have all the above procedures in place, the likelihood of a real evacuation should be rare. However, responding to an emergency is easier when everyone knows what they are doing and where they are going. Every premise should establish a detailed fire emergency evacuation procedure showing the escape routes and how to respond. Make sure proper equipment is in place in case of an emergency evacuation for employees with special requirements e.g. Evacuation Chairs
Here at JCW Energy Services, we have experienced designers, installers and qualified maintenance Engineers to carry out all major life safety systems services. If you have require any consultation or have any feedback on the blog, please get in touch with us on 03333 58 58 58 or fill in our enquiry form on the contact page.