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Fire Safety in the Office, what you need to know

When you run a business, it’s vital that you follow health and safety regulations to keep everyone well looked after. One of the main aspects of this is fire safety in the office and is something that needs to be strictly adhered to. If you don’t follow the protocols, you could end up with a catastrophe should a fire break out, or you could land a fine or penalty if your building is to be inspected. Here we take a look at fire safety in the office and what you need to know. 

Recognising yourself as the “responsible person” and what this means

If you are an employer you are known as the “responsible person” for fire safety and as such, you need to:

– Carry out the fire risk assessment and keep it regularly updated

– Let the staff know about any risks and what they should do in the case of a fire

– Provide fire safety instructions and training for staff members

– Plan what to do in an emergency

Regularly carry out fire risk assessments

ire risk assessments are vital as they will enable you to see if there are any potential hazards in the workplace, identify how you can remove these and what you can do to minimise the chance of a fire happening. According to the Government website, this is what you need to conduct the risk assessment:

  1. Identify the fire hazards.
  2. Identify people at risk.
  3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  5. Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

Some of the things you need to consider are the emergency routes and exits, fire fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets, an evacuation plan, how vulnerable people will be able to get out (such as the elderly, disabled or young children) and fire detection systems such as alarms. You must also ensure fire alarm installation is done properly and that all alarms work.

You can do a fire risk assessment yourself using the standard fire safety risk assessment guidelines or you can appoint a “competent person” to help you out. You can also ask your local fire services department for advice, but they can’t do the actual risk assessment. This needs to be done by you.

The government website has a handy guide to all the different risk assessments that you can download depending on your type of business or premises. These can be found at this link here for you to view.

A fire safety and evacuation plan

You will also need to come up with a fire safety and evacuation plan, showing clearly marked escape routes, that there are enough escape routes, that emergency doors are available and can open easily and where the meeting point is for staff.

Ensuring you have the correct equipment and training in place

For fire safety in the office you will also need the correct fire fighting equipment such as fire alarms, emergency lighting, fire escape signs and fire blankets. Check that this is all working properly on a regular basis.

You will also need to regularly train your staff (including any new members) so they know what they need to do and where they need to be in the event of a fire. 

This covers all of what you need to know in order to be compliant with fire safety in the office. Fire regulations are vital and it’s important you cover all the above to keep your business in the clear and your employees safe.

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