While fire prevention is more important than ever, some businesses still lack the basic fire hazard training and discipline to follow it, which may be endangering businesses across the country. For example, interior fire doors are all-too-often left open for “fresh air”, entirely negating their purpose of stopping fires in their tracks before they can cause more serious harm. Given the increased focus on infection control following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners and facilities managers must pay particular attention to this, as staff are even more likely to leave fire doors open to facilitate ventilation throughout the facility.
Fire safety, which has always been a business-critical imperative, is an increasingly important consideration for businesses in 2022, as working patterns move away from remote working. Returning to normal workplaces can be a challenge, but making sure that these sites are fire safe is something all business owners and staff members need to be aware of.
By testing fire safety systems regularly, refreshing any fire safety training and having all the correct safety measures in place, businesses can rest assured that they can safely welcome all employees back to the workplace equipped to ensure fire safety and quick exigency in any crisis situation.
According to British government figures, incidences of fires in the workplace had increased six-fold over the decade leading up to March 2020, and therefore, it is clear that workplace fire safety is an ever-growing concern. But where should businesses be focusing their efforts? Here are a few pointers.
Fire alarms are the first defence in a fire emergency, which means they’re an essential piece of equipment that must be maintained, periodically tested and replaced when necessary. Since many workplaces have been left unattended due to remote working, it’s now the perfect time to test fire alarms with workers being encouraged to go back to sites. Fire alarms must be tested regularly in order to determine that they work when needed, aren’t susceptible to false alarms, emit the proper noise and can be heard by those in the area for their own safety. Failing to have them frequently tested ultimately puts lives at risk. Faulty electrical equipment is one of the leading causes of fire in the workplace, so it’s important for businesses to keep their equipment organised and maintained to reduce the risk of them malfunctioning and becoming a fire risk.
Fire exit doors must always be shut properly when not needed and should never be left open to ventilate a room. If the door don’t close properly, it is a fault that to be addressed on priority. End of the day, they must be accessible in an emergency. Also, the space in front or behind the door should never be used for storage or dumping, as has been seen in many instances.
In case of a fire or a blackout, the premises needs to have exigency solutions in place. The NBC has specified exigency protocols like illuminated route markers, emergency lights, photoluminescent signages installed in specific locations for best results.