With business premises being a hub for many individuals on a daily basis, there can be multiple risks of fire from many different sources. A lot of behaviour can seem harmless but it could also result in a deadly fire. Without a set of rules in place, it can be hard to manage the safety of the entire team.
Within your workplace, it’s essential to set out a clear list of fire prevention rules that everyone can adhere to. Your policy can be as comprehensive as needed, but here is some key areas you’ll need to look at.
Ensure all staff fully extinguish their cigarette butts and get rid of them in the correct place. Make sure cigarette bins don’t overflow and assign a nominated person or set-up a rota for emptying them.
Keep fire exits clear of all rubbish or flammable materials like packaging. Don’t let emergency routes be used for storage purposes.
Make sure that your kitchen equipment is kept clean and in order. Shared kitchen spaces in offices can often form a fire risk, as there is not set person in charge of tidying them. Fat can build up, and food remains, which can cause a fire. Equipment may be left switched on, as staff are unsure of who will be the last to use it each day. Many companies employ cleaners, but if not then make sure that the office adheres to a cleaning rota and everyone is clear on who is responsible for checking kitchen equipment is switched off each day.
Report faulty equipment. Any malfunctions appliances should be turned off, reported and taken out of circulation immediately, without waiting to hear for a response.
Ensure that electrical sockets are not overloaded. Extensions should not be plugged into additional extensions, and staff should be clear on the limit of amps each outlet can handle.
Heaters should be operated in a safe space, with nothing around them. Make sure the vents aren’t blocked, and all materials are kept away from them (including staff clothes – make sure staff are vigilant and don’t sit too close to the heaters!)
Make sure staff are clear on who the designated Fire Warden or Marshall in your office is and be informed of the emergency exits. All staff members should sign to say they understand fire prevention measures and evacuation policies of the business or should be able to access this information easily If not.
Have a policy for appliance usage at work. Staff should be aware that only approved items can be used in sockets – and not to bring in their electrical equipment from home. All equipment on the approved list should be PAT (portable appliance testing) tested routinely to check their safety.
Microwaves should be labelled with a reminder not to place metal objects inside. Vents should also be kept clear, and the microwave positioned in a place where it won’t have objects placed on top of it.
Be aware of flickering or faulty lights, blown fuses or any circuits tripping. These should be reported immediately.
For more information on rules to cover, get in touch with our accredited fire risk assessors today.