There are around 25,000 non-residential fires in the UK each and every year, and a huge percentage of these fires occur in workplaces. As such, whilst we might look upon fires as highly unlikely eventualities, such incidents become a reality for a great number of people, and those who are not prepared to deal with such occurrences are likely to be putting themselves and those that work for them in a great deal of danger.
Not only should companies designate a fire marshal to deal with a fire in the event that one should break out, but it will also be important for all businesses to have the mandatory number of working fire extinguishers on hand, and to ensure that those fire extinguishers are appropriate for the types of fire that could potentially break out within a given workplace.
The first thing to do when considering fire safety in the workplace is therefore to elect someone to take a fire marshal course. Having someone on hand trained to deal with fires who will know exactly what tools and which specific fire extinguishers they might need when dealing with a fire (should one break out) will be vital, and as such it might be worth sending more than one individual on such a course, so you can be certain that someone trained in fire safety will always be on the premises should a fire need to be tackled, no matter how large.
Fire marshal training will take individuals through the role of a fire marshal and ensure they understand how to best tackle fires, the procedures they will need to follow in the case of an emergency, and how to use different types of extinguisher as well as the types of fire each one should be used on. However, designating a fire marshal alone will not be enough; not only will you then have to carry out dedicated risk assessments to ensure you are not jeopardizing your employees’ safety through carelessness, but you should also look at ensuring that your fire marshals pass on their knowledge of using fire extinguishers to each and every member of the team.
Fire safety training will therefore be beneficial for each and every member of staff, as will ensuring you provide and maintain any necessary tools and undertake precautions to protect those in the workplace. Once you have the tools on hand to help you prevent or tackle a fire, it will then be necessary to pass on information to the whole team about these fire precautions, providing relevant training where necessary.
Different businesses will experience different levels of risk depending on the line of work they are in and the processes they have in place. However, human error is one of the biggest causes of fire and, as such, every single business is at risk to certain degree, and managing this risk will be extremely important if you wish to keep your premises, your staff and yourself as safe as possible from the threat of fire.