Fire Safety in the UK
Incidents involving fire are among the main causes of death and property destruction in homes and business premises around the UK, and this contributes to a loss of millions every year. There are a quite a number of things that lead to such incidences; for instance, when faulty electrical wiring or appliances are used, they can catch fire and cause great damage, and the same can happen if a cigarette is not correctly disposed of. Even though negligent individuals should be held responsible for such damages, it’s up to you to take responsibility and implement fire safety control measures to protect your assets, especially seeing as you have worked so hard to invest in them. Other than that, you also have to ensure the well being of anyone who uses your buildings and this can only happen if you adhere to the necessary fire safety standards, and where necessary ensure that you get specialists in to carry out such tasks as dry riser testing, and sprinkler system maintenance.
What is fire safety?
Whenever there’s a fire, it’s important to know how to handle and keep it under control in order to minimise damage. Even so, it’s more important to learn how to prevent it so as to avoid such problems altogether. On the whole, knowing all the fire prevention and control methods that comprise fire safety and being familiar with them gives you an upper hand when it comes to dealing with fires.
Common fire safety hazards
For a fire to start there must be oxygen, fuel and heat. Some of the general ignition sources include naked flames, heaters, matches, cigarettes and electrical equipment. To prevent the start of a fire from such sources, a risk assessment should be carried out to identify the right safety measures, and ensure that they are employed. Aside from that, whenever you encounter a fire incident, you should always have an available escape route before you try to put it out, and if the fire is too big it’s best to exit and leave the job to professional firefighters.
How to enforce fire safety
The fire and rescue service is responsible for ensuring that all premises meet the set fire safety standards. During their inspections, the enforcing authorities aim to ascertain that you have all the needed installations in your building. Your building should not only have fire extinguishers, but there should also be fire exits with clear signage so that the residents of the building know exactly how to exit in case of a fire. In the event that you do not have everything in place, the enforcing authority will issue recommendations on what needs to be done. Getting fire assessments is very important since it will not only reassure the occupants of their safety, but it will also make you confident of getting the most out of your assets. Other than that, employees must also undergo some kind of fire marshall training so that they know what to do in the case of a fire.
Implementing fire safety precautions
Whenever a fire occurs you need to be prepared, and this means you have to install various equipment including extinguishers, sprinklers and smoke detectors. However, acquiring such devices is pointless if you do not learn how to use them; thus, you must get conversant with how they work. Ideally, you should go for professional fire training so that you know about the usage and maintenance of such fire control equipment. Remember, different types of fires require different fire extinguishers; for instance, electrical fires should be dealt with differently from grease fires. In addition to that, a fire can only be controlled by an extinguisher to a certain extent, and knowing the limits can go a long way into ensuring your personal safety and avoiding wastage of the extinguishing material.
As a responsible person, you have to take charge of the safety of your employees and visitors, or any members of the public who may have access to your building -people with disabilities should also be catered for. Thus, apart from taking general precautions, you must also ensure that the fire prevention principles are applied and you have to take into account the needs of the most vulnerable occupants. In addition to people with disabilities, young children and expectant mothers should be well catered for.
Reviewing your fire safety procedures
You also need to regularly review your fire assessment so that you ensure safety, even when there are changes made to the building. On top of that, if there is a considerable increase in the number of occupants, you need to reassess so that you take the necessary action to reduce the risks that may arise from fire. There is all sorts of equipment available to help cater for fire safety needs in different buildings thus, regardless of the type of premises, you can find products to suit. That said, where you need to install particular equipment in your building and you are uncertain of how to go about it or what to go for, do not hesitate to seek specialist fire safety advice from a fire company, because it’s the only sure way to get the appropriate equipment.