Businesses are always concerned about being the subject of any break-ins by intruders, especially those that sell tangible goods and have warehouses full of expensive goods and equipment that could be easily sold on the black market.
But sometimes firms don’t always think about other risks to their businesses, such as the risk of fire damage, and the subsequent risk to human health if there are people inside offices or other premises at the time of a fire. This handy guide will tell you all you need to know about protecting your office against fire.
Carry out a fire risk assessment
One of the most-important things to do is to carry out a comprehensive fire risk assessment of your office. The following are some of the main factors to cover during your assessment:
Fire hazards – identify any sources of ignition, fuel and oxygen;
People – check to see which people in your office could be affected by any fire hazards;
Risk evaluation – once you have identified potential fire risks, you will need to evaluate whether the risks are low or high;
Protection – if there are any high fire risks in your office, what steps can you take to reduce them;
Planning and recording – once you have determined what steps you need to take, you should plan and record your actions;
The gov.uk website offers a handy PDF file that you can download which describes these steps in more details.
Offer appropriate training
A lot of office fires tend to start because of employees that haven’t been properly trained. For example, fires start due to incorrect handling of hazardous substances or people not knowing the implications of keeping any sources of ignition near flammable items.
As part of your fire risk assessment, you should find out how well-trained your employees are and resolve any issues in relation to a lack of training as a matter of urgency.
Make changes to your office
There are many things in an office which employees are used to ‘living with’, but can cause a big fire risk. According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, there were 154,000 reported cases of fire in England alone back in 2013, and between 2012 and 2013 over 271 people died as a result of fire.
It is obviously important that you make sure that any actual or potential fire risks are minimised, regardless of cost, because, at the end of the day, human life is priceless in comparison to the price of tangible assets such as computer systems and photocopiers!
Ensure you have got an adequate fire safety system installed
If a fire breaks out in one part of your office, it is crucial that everyone inside of the office is aware of this immediately.
For example, wireless Tag Systems helps you to ensure that your office meets all insurance and legislative requirements for adequate fire protection, namely having points where employees can raise the alarm, smoke detectors, detection and evacuation warning systems, and more.