31 Mar What are your fire protection plans in the event of commercial fire?
Having the right fire protection equipment & procedures in place in the event of a commercial fire?
A Commercial Fire can be absolutely devastating to businesses. Loosing something you have worked years to build can be heartbreaking, but it can also be very dangerous for your visitors and employees. If in the unfortunate event that a fire breaks out in your business, its important to ensure that you get your employees and visitors out safely.
Remember back in the days you were in school and you had regular fire drills. They were not just to help us all get out of class for a few hours. The drills were important fire protection procedures, that in the unfortunate event children and staff would be lead to safety. This works in the same way in the commercial marketplace. A person should be appointed as a Fire Marshall, they should regularly plan drills so that employees are kept up to date with fire safety and are fully aware of exit routes and procedures to follow in the event of this happening. The Fire Marshall will have a dedicated place for everyone to meet and they will carry out a head count to ensure no one is left inside the building.
Planning in the event of a commercial fire is a very important part of keeping your employees and visitors safe.
In the UK the fire safety legislation states the following:
Fire Risk Assessments
All businesses must carry out a Fire Risk Assessment which is documented, if they have more than four employees.
- It should be reviewed on a regular basis
- Be documented if they are more than four employees
- Any findings on the fire risk assessment must be recorded and action taken
The person who carries out the risk assessment much be confident of the following:
- That they can correctly identify the potential causes of fire in your business
- Identify people which could be at risk
- Carryout an assessment of the current fire safety measures in place, for example fire alarm systems, extinguishers, escape routes etc
- Give on going fire safety assessments, carry out regular drills and staff training
- Develop a fire safety action plan for any changes which need carrying out
- Record significant findings
- Put in to place action plans if required
- Keep all fire risk assessment logs updated on an ongoing basis.
If your business does not have the appropriate Fire Risk Assessment and safety and protection equipment in place. You could be prosecuted with a severe fine, in the case of extreme negligence you could face prison.
The UK Fire Safety Legislation also states that you must provide “appropriate fire fighting equipment”
This generally means portable fire extinguishers, however some commercial businesses may require hose reels or sprinklers installed.
There are various different types of extinguishers for different businesses, your extinguishers must be:
- Placed in the right location and the right type for the business you are running
- They must all be maintained, serviced and in good working order
- Have annual service and maintenance testing carried out by a competent certified company to industry standards
- They must be serviced at least every 6 months
- The person carrying out the testing and mainteance needs to a competent person, certified and approved to industry standards
- The fire alarms installed should meet the requirements of British Standard 5839: Part 1 2013
- They should be tested weekly
Fire Safety Training
If you are the owner of a business, you are required by law to protect anyone visiting or working at your premises from the threats of fire. This involves carrying out assessing risks and specific hazards which could be present within your company. You are responsible for installing the correct fire safety methods including alarms, equipment, emergency lighting and extinguishers in the necessary places.
Your designated employees must be trained and have the right knowledge to be able to evacuate people from your building in the event of a fire in a safe and effective manner.
Staff and management need to be well trained and prepared to act handling the situation should a commercial fire ever occur at your business.
A Fire Marshall needs to be appointed who will have the correct training and be able to lead and coordinate people in the event of an evacuation. This person needs to have a good understanding of the legal requirements involved and how the equipment should be used.
Fire Protection in the event of a Commercial Fire
If you would like to know more about protecting your business in the event of a Commercial fire and ensuring your business is compliant to the latest regulations. Call our team today for an assessment of your business premises on 0191 378 1153. You can also find out more about our services on our dedicated page
You can also find out more about the Governments Legal Guidelines here