If you have started a new business recently you may have been taken aback at just how much there is to fire safety in your business premises.
It can be quite complicated, but it is there to protect you, your premises, your investment and your staff. It is essential that you follow it, and do your best to protect yourself.
Here are ten safety tips that will help:
Create a Map
You may have seen in other business premises a map that details the floor plan, or room plan. These maps are very helpful to both staff and visitors alike.
Mark out your equipment
Design a plan for each floor of your business and place this map in a clear and unobstructed place on your wall. Highlight within the map the location of fire extinguishers, fire exits and other related equipment. It is also advisable to add a ‘You are here’ marker to make it clear where you are in relation to all these things.
Some parts of your premises may be ‘no go’ areas during a fire, make sure you let staff and visitors know about these. You can do this in a number of ways; clear posters are a good method of communication here.
Create an evacuation procedure
These will be tailored to your own business and premises. However, it should contain some other important information like; the type of fire alarm and where to evacuate to. Don’t forget the all important ‘do not pick up personal belongings and move in a sensible way’.
Regular fire safety training
You must continually educate your staff on all things fire related. This includes having regular training sessions, and refresh courses (for those who may have worked for you for a while). This training should also form part of any new starters introduction to your business.
Conduct regular fire drills
Now that you have an evacuation procedure set up and ready, you should conduct regular fire drills. This will help you hone your evacuation procedure, timing how long it takes everyone to evacuate and ensuring everyone follows it down to the letter.
Prevention is better than cure
Spend some time thinking about, and setting some money aside to invest in, fire prevention equipment. Equipment likefire door seals can save lives, as well as giving extra time to the fire service before the fire spreads.
Assign a fire safety co-ordinator
If your new business is big enough to have a number of staff members then you should look in to assigning one of your members of staff to be a fire safety co-ordinator. Ensure that it is someone you trust, as ultimately you are the one responsible for fire safety.
If your premises has a kitchen attached to it, this is where some of the high risk elements are. Electrical items are the prime suspect, so remember to turn them off at the end of each day and keep them away from anything that could catch fire.
The last tip, but by no means the least important, remember to keep pathways, stairs and storage areas clutter free and ensure that all waste is removed and collected.