Last edited 14 May 2024

Effective Fire Safety Arrangements in the Workplace


[edit] Introduction

A fire in the workplace is devastating for employers and their workforce. Many individuals injure or die as a result of the fire in the workplace. Alongside this, fire hazards can lead to potential claims to businesses including hefty fines to fulfill legal claims and requiring millions to overcome the production cost, or can increase insurance premiums.

Therefore, fire safety is a vital part of employers’ responsibilities for ensuring their worker’s health and safety and requires them to have effective fire preventive measures to ensure that they prevent their businesses and employees from damage.

This blog post provides a thorough understanding of improving fire safety within the workplace, a checklist to ensure safety at work and key legislations to comply with the law.

[edit] Fire Safety Legislation

The main fire safety legislation affecting businesses across the UK is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It is also commonly known as the ‘Fire Safety Order’ and applies to almost all non-domestic premises, buildings, structures, and open spaces.

Along with this, Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 are for Scotland and Ireland respectively.

All these regulations put a legal duty on employers to assess, control, and prevent fire risks at work. Failure to comply with these regulations can put businesses at severe risk, can damage businesses, result in expensive risks, or even cost human lives. Therefore, having a preventive fire safety approach is significantly important.

[edit] Effective Steps to Improve Fire Safety in the Workplace

Below are some ways to help improve fire safety within the organisation or the workplace:

[edit] 1. Keep Your Workplace Clean & Tidy

Untidy workplaces with poor housekeeping are more prone to health and safety risks including fire hazards. The fire risk of an area or building can increase where there is more clutter such as waste materials.

Therefore, to minimise the chances of fire risks at work, employers must implement proper control measures with adequate prevention and evacuation strategies to improve fire safety within their work environment.

[edit] 2. Ensure Relevant Fire Prevention Equipment

Having the right safety equipment can help prevent the risk of fire hazards or relevant injuries. The relevant fire safety equipment can help employers, employees, and duty holders to competently extinguish the fire and control the risk of getting worse.

[edit] 3. Be Aware of Electrical Safety

Using electrical equipment as part of work is essential in some businesses, and where there is electrical equipment involved, the risk of fires is common. To avoid any unwanted hazards, employers need to ensure that they regularly inspect electrical equipment to examine any faulty wiring or overloaded plug sockets to mitigate the risk of electrical fires.

[edit] 4. Appoint Fire Wardens at Work

It is a legal requirement for workplaces to have at least one fire warden in their workplace to take control of maintaining fire safety procedures. Fire wardens are responsible for taking practical actions to evacuate fires at work.

Therefore, employers are required to have proper training sessions arranged for their workers like fire warden training to keep the responsible persons aware of their roles and duties.

[edit] How to Ensure Fire Safety at Work?

To ensure a safe workplace, free from any fire hazards, employers and responsible persons need to ensure that they have fire prevention arrangements within their work environment.

[edit] 1. Undertake Fire Risk Assessments

Fire risk assessments play a significant role in identifying and controlling fire risks at work. Companies are legally bound to conduct regular fire inspections to identify fire hazards and prepare an emergency plan to control and mitigate those risks.

[edit] 2. Have the Required Fire Extinguishers

The right fire extinguisher used at work is a great method to ensure that a fire doesn’t occur in the first place. A thorough risk assessment will help determine which type of extinguishers are needed.

Alongside this, the main fire extinguishers used at work are:

[edit] 3. Have the Effective Fire Emergency Plan

Employers need to have a plan in place that tells their workforce what to do in an event of a fire hazard. A dedicated emergency plan should outline what warning systems are in place, evacuation procedures and routes, as well as the fire assembly point.

[edit] In Summary

Fires at work are a common cause of mild to severe hazards and injuries that can cost businesses heavy losses in terms of money, legal claims, and human life.

Those responsible for protecting the well-being of their staff need to ensure that they have the right procedures with effective strategies to identify, control and mitigate fire risks within their work premises.

This blog post has covered some effective strategies to improve fire safety standards at work along with preventive measures to eliminate fire risks.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again