In this bleak midwinter, have you considered your attire?
In a recent court case in Wakefield, a school and a fire risk assessor have been fined. This was for a number of reasons, one of which, was the coat hooks lining the escape route. National Guidance issued by the government deems Cloakrooms a ‘high risk’ area, due to the potential for rapid fire spread, so you need to make sure they’re not open to circulation spaces or a means of escape. https://www.twinfm.com/article/school-gets-hard-knock-with-fire-conviction
Where could employees store their coats?
It’s worth having a check. Below are some other things to look out for and consider, if you provide a cloakroom or not:
- Are they hanging on the back of chairs and do these lean onto heaters/radiators.
- Do any coat hooks overhang heaters or line your corridors.
- If you provide a cloakroom, does it open onto the escape corridor. If it does, will it require a self closing fire door.
- Is clothing/bags left on the floor/tucked under desks. This could cause a trip hazard.
- If they’re hanging on doors, is it the fire escape door. As this could mean they obstruct the door mechanism and prevent quick escape.
- Make sure they’re not blocking your fire equipment
One area assessed by a Fire Risk Assessment are your fire safety checks. Are they being carried out regularly and recorded. Fire safety checks will help you to ensure, that as you go through the year, the changes in seasonal attire which could lead to a fire hazard, will be picked up and can be managed.