In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, Stockport based Michelle Hay is providing her top 10 tips to improve fire safety in business and urging employers to re-visit fire safety planning in the workplace.
The law is clear on what fire safety checks employers and building owners must carry out. It’s set out in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
“The main requirement is that all businesses must carry out a fire risk assessment and put in place a fire safety plan. Ignoring fire safety can have devastating consequences as we have seen recently. So this is not just about good business sense, it’s going to save lives.
“Here’s my top 10 things you can do now to improve fire safety awareness in your business….
- Can people evacuate quickly and effectively? – Practice an evacuation and record what went well, not so well and, make improvements. Tell everyone about the improvements and keep practising until it’s the best it can be.
- Training works – Giving people the right information about fire safety is a legal requirement. It works. Once people understand the potential effects of a fire, they change their behaviour for the better, for good.
- Give people responsibilities for their own safety – Employee engagement is the best method of continual compliance in any workplace.
- What’s behind the door? – Final exit doors must be checked every day to make sure that they are unlocked and that there is nothing behind them to hinder an evacuation.
- Poorly maintained equipment causes fires! – Have all your electrical equipment checked regularly and have a reporting procedure in place for employees to use.
- Keep fire doors shut – Fire doors are in place to stop the spread of fire, make sure they’re not wedged open.
- Arson is the cause of 45% of fires – Check the areas outside the building and remove anything that might be tempting to an arsonist.
- Is your fire alarm system working? – Where are your ‘call points’, lights and smoke detectors? Your alarm should be tested weekly.
- What are your fire emergency procedures? – Everyone must know what to do if they discover a fire or hear the fire alarm.
- Keep a record of all fire safety actions and review them at least annually.
You also have to prove that you’re checking your premises and equipment regularly too. Please don’t wait until it’s too late.