Fire Safety in your office

Fire Safety in your office.

Here’s our quick and easy guide to fire safety in your office.

Every office should have a fire safety checklist. This includes the testing of electrical equipment, servicing regimes and emergency evacuation procedures to name just a few.

The most common cause of fire in an office setting relates to faulty electric’s, misuse of electrical equipment and the storage / disposal of combustible materials.

5 yearly inspection and testing should be carried out on all fixed wiring. This will be specified in most insurance policies and there are legal implications for lapses in these testing regimes.  PAT testing should be carried out on non-fixed electrical items. Un-detected electrical faults are a cause of fire.

All fire safety checklists should be taken from a fire risk assessment that has been carried out on the property. This is required by law and the responsibility lies with the Duty Holder or Responsible Person.

Life Safety Fire Risk Assessments is at the heart of sufficient prevention, protection, and suppression measures.

Risk assessments should be completed when the building is occupied and operational. This is to ensure fire doors and escape routes as part of the physical elements of the building are considered. Any changes to the building or it’s layout will mean a new fire risk assessment is required.

Most fire risk assessments are done using common sense, however, any decisions that are made should follow guidance for fire safety and therefore the person completing must have a level of competence. Competence is normally evidenced through comprehensive training and experience in the type of risk assessment that is being carried out.

Competence can be verified through 3rd party certification; this offers a reassurance the person completing the fire risk assessment is competent to do so. This is important to be able to recognise and fire safety weaknesses within a premise, then measures with a timescale are made to ensure they are addressed. The written document is given to the responsible person or duty holder as a record of the assessment and its recommendations. These assessments can be requested by relevant bodies such as the Fire Service or insurance companies, proving that the premise complies with legislation and British Standard recommendations.

The risk assessment will also look at site specific procedures and the operational fire safety plans, these are designed for the specific environment concerned.

Ensuring that housekeeping standards are high is good practice. When combined with regular maintenance regimes, including weekly testing of alarms to ensure they work, there is a lesser chance of a fire. Large facilities should have fire marshalls that are trained appropriately.

Combining fire safety systems, having robust procedures and ensuring regular checks are made, will mean that you will have established and well-maintained standards that are geared towards the protection of employees, visitors, contractors and others in your premises.

 

To find out more about fire risk assessments or to book a no obligation fire risk assessment please get in touch today.

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