As an employer, it’s important to prioritize the health and safety of your staff, as both a legal and moral obligation. In the rare event of a fire, staff must be equipped with the knowledge necessary to escape safely. The right information can prevent lives being lost, so the importance of fire safety training shouldn’t be understated. It is your responsibility to implement procedures, while ensuring your staff understand what they should do in the event of a fire.
There are various steps you can take to ensure fire awareness in the workplace, which will be outlined in this article to highlight what you need to know about fire safety.
Business owners are legally responsible for identifying fire hazards. These should be detected and removed wherever possible. A great method for achieving this outcome is conducting a fire risk assessment, which will help you determine organisational hazards, and those who are most likely to be at risk. After developing this foundation, you can take the necessary precautions to reduce risks, alongside measures regarding what workers should do in the event of a fire. Risks may include blocked fire exits, flammable objects, or poorly maintained electronics.
A busy owner probably can’t dedicate the due care necessary to ensuring fire safety measures are upheld. Nominating a fire warden is a great way to monitor duties pertaining to fire safety, where they function as the ‘eyes and ears’. Fire wardens should be available to carry out routine checks, including regular checks of the fire safety equipment and evacuation routes. It’s desirable to have more than one fire warden, especially if you have a large work premises.
Implement a Fire Safety Policy
This is good practice for any workplace, since you’ll give employees an opportunity to observe the procedures that need to followed in the case of a fire. This creates peace of mind, promotes organisation, and shows you care about your employees. As part of your fire safety policy, post plans near fire exits, and ensure the people who use machinery and equipment have been trained to be sufficiently aware of fire hazards.
Detection and Warnings
It is a legal requirement for organisations to install devices which allow people to raise an alarm. These will usually be in the form of detection systems or fire alarms, which alert everyone in the building when there’s a fire. These should be tested regularly to ensure they’re working properly, which can be achieved by conducting weekly tests. You should also install the following:
- Emergency Lighting
- Emergency Exits
- Fire Doors
- Fire Safety Signs
- Fire Extinguishers
Staff should be educated properly to ensure they know exactly what to do in the event of a fire. Being fully aware of fire risks will ensure staff are safe all year round, and this includes knowing exactly where the evacuation routes are. Because training can put strain on staff members, e-learning is a great way to inform staff without eating into valuable work time.
I hope you have found this article informative, and are one step closer to protecting your staff from harm. If you’d like to contribute to the conversation, comment below and kick-start the discussion!