Workplace fire safety – fire safety checklist for employers

As we approach national fire safety awareness week it is useful to review old checklists (and update) to ensure the information we offer on this site is accurate. Fires and explosions caused 261 fatalities in 2017, in addition to damage and loss of business equipment and buildings. These are good reasons every business needs a fire prevention plan. Here are some workplace fire safety tips:

  • Maintain a register for staff. Where multiple offices are in use, make sure there is a mechanism in place for clocking in and clocking out of the workplace.  This ensures that in an emergency the fire services know who may still be on-site.  You are putting your employees and fire services at risk if an accurate record of who is onside is not available.
  • Create a fire plan. A detailed fire risk assessment can save lives and money. A workplace fire safety plan should; • Identify risks
    • Identify measures to be taken to reduce the likelihood of fire
    • Provide employees with necessary precautions to take to reduce risk
    • Inform staff on how to re-act to fire should one be discovered
    • Detail evacuation and training plans associated with Fire safety
    • Plan building exit strategy, prepare notices and put in place procedures for evacuation including contact details for emergency services
  • Undertake training to gain skills to conduct a fire risk assessment – fire marshal training is essential to workplace fire safety.
  • Check and maintain wiring. Evaluate tools and ensure equipment is working correctly. Keep tools and facilities dust and oil free where possible.
  • Uncoil extension cords fully before use to protect against trip hazards and use extension cords only for temporary wiring. Extension cords are built to offer an alternative means of electrical output, they should not be left plugged in when unattended.
  • Do not use equipment that delivers a mild electrical shock, gives off unusual levels heat or smells odd.
  • Keep workspaces free of waste paper, scraps, dust and other combustibles.
  • Keep corridors uncluttered with fire doors accessible.
  • Do not use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapours, liquids, dust or fibres are present.
  • Ensure trash is emptied frequently enough to prohibit a build-up of combustibles in an area. Rubbish can aid the speed and ferocity of a fire, do not leave rubbish lying around.
  • Make sure you know who to call in an emergency.  This includes standard numbers such as 999 but also important numbers for your staff and team.
  • Report all fires and emergencies promptly.
  • Only make emergency phone calls from a safe location.  If in doubt, get out – then call.
  • Run regular fire drills and ensure all staff participate in drills.  Co-ordinate with the fire service where necessary.
  • Make sure all walk ways and corridors are kept clear to allow easy emergency access.  Failure to do so can cost lives.

Further reading for workplace fire safety;
Care home fire training

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