As an adult, fire safety awareness and training can become nothing more than a Health & Safety tick box exercise. Tedious as it may be, commercial fire safety is of paramount importance to protect your business and your workforce.
What’s the damage?
In the unfortunate event of a workplace fire, the cost almost always extends beyond pure monetary value. Workforce injuries or fatalities are emotionally harrowing, and carry reputational damage if it’s as a result of negligence.
There’s also the cost of suspended or delayed operations to consider, with crucial documents and data lost, buildings damaged, and staff still to be paid.
If the incident is investigated and you’re found to have been negligent with fire safety and prevention, there will be a raft of legal fees and penalties coming your way, too.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a few pieces of advice on what you should be doing as a business owner or commercial landlord to keep fire safety in check.
Carry out regular evacuation drills
This is not a drill – simulated evacuations are a crucial part of commercial fire safety. It might seem like a right pain having to ditch the cup of coffee you’ve just made. But, getting everyone out for a fake fire emergency will help:
Streamline and speed up the whole process. Practice makes perfect after all.
Identify any issues with the process so they can be addressed and resolved.
Identify a suitable fire marshal, meeting point and escape plan.
Of course, the regularity of these evacuation drills depends on the level of risk and nature of your business, but experts recommend doing it at least once a year.
Conduct a fire risk assessment
This one is best left to the professionals and will enable you to effectively examine any potential risks and the potential spread of a fire. This way, you can then apply some educated damage control and hopefully prevent it ever occurring.
Ways to reduce the risk of a commercial fire breaking out
Only buy appliances from a reputable supplier. Follow installation and maintenance instructions carefully and act fast if you see any signs of burning, or hear any buzzing or crackling.
Switch off any appliances or machines when they aren’t in use or being attended.
Don’t ignore machine or appliance recall requests – they are for your own good.
Check your wiring regularly and tend to any issues you mind find.
Keep stairways, doorways and corridors clear of clutter.
Don’t cover or overcrowd appliances such as air con units or coffee machines.
Fit smoke alarms. It’s quick, easy, and cheap and it could save your business and its people.
No smoking indoors. It’s illegal and highly dangerous so don’t do it.
How does your business deal with fire safety? Share your tips and advice with us in the comments below or come and join the conversation over on Twitter or Facebook.
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