While it’s obviously something we never want to be confronted with, combating a fire at work is an unfortunate reality that, if worst comes to worst, some of us may have to contend with at some point in our lives.
Rather than turning a blind eye to the worst, it’s far more productive – and safer – to prepare for the worst and know exactly what is required to ensure both your own safety and the safety of others should you ever find yourself in a position where action is required.
In a business, just as it would be at home, it’s not only personal safety that is a priority, but certain assets that require keeping out of harm’s way, too – and there are measures that can be put in place and implemented to help ensure that all of the above is given the best possible chance of survival.
Have A Clear Plan In Place
It may seem obvious, but by ensuring your business has an appointed fire warden and that there is a well-known, rehearsed and easily accessible plan in place, it gives everybody in the building a template to automatically follow should they ever need to.
An initiative led, enforced and championed by the government, fire drills promote accountability, and by having systems in place that build in as standard features that help make sure all staff are registered, it allows far less room for error and provides a clearer route to safety.
Promote Detection and Suppression
Again, while it’s a legal requirement, it’s still something worth bearing in mind and doing more than the minimum toward. Fire alarms should be regularly checked and maintained, with an up-to-date sprinkler system installed at the very minimum. These alarms should also be automatically linked to the emergency services, so there is no delaying their arrival.
In the case of serious fires, foam suppression systems are available, and although they cost significantly more, they are far quicker and more efficient than your standard sprinkler. Fire blankets and stand-alone extinguishers should also be clearly labelled and available with ease throughout the entire building, with their location visible on any floor plans created.
Additionally, one consideration to make before moving in to a building with your business is to inquire after what materials their property is made from, cladded with, and how the envelope of the building has been lined. Buildings with the most sophisticated materials in place will the be safest to inhabit, and having been built with fire safety in mind, are the most likely to deter the spreading of any flames or smoke with any speed.