A fire in the workplace can be catastrophic for your business, its stock and its staff members. Although it’s easy to take an ‘it won’t happen to me’ approach to fire safety, it’s essential that your business adopts rigorous risk management processes in order to keep everyone and everything safe.
With this in mind, here are five essential fire safety steps that you must take as a CEO and business owner:
1. Create a Coherent Fire Safety Plan
In order to keep everyone safe, you must have a clear and coherent fire safety plan in place.
You should also know that this is a legal requirement for workplaces operating in the UK. Employers, business owners and landlords are all equally responsible for delivering an adequate fire safety plan in the eyes of the law.
2. Carry Out a Risk Assessment
In order to create a fire safety plan, you’ll need to carry out a thorough risk assessment that analyzes the hazards in your business and the level of risk they pose.
If your business has more than five employees, a risk assessment is a legal requirement.
Your risk assessment should answer questions such as:
- What could cause a fire to start on your premises?
- What is the level of risk posed?
- Who would be affected if a fire started?
- How could the fire spread?
- How can these risks be alleviated?
Once you’ve carried out the assessment you’ll be able to implement control measures that are proportionate to the level of risk. You should also review your assessment regularly to ensure any new risks are factored in.
3. Ensure You Have the Right Fire Safety Equipment
In the unfortunate event that a fire starts on your premises, it’s essential that you have the right fire safety equipment to hand.
As a result, you should ensure your workspace has working universal smoke alarms, the correct fire safety signs and fire prevention systems such as fire extinguishers and sprinklers.
4. Appoint Fire Wardens
As the CEO of the business, you likely don’t have time to take full control of fire safety provisions. For this reason, you should appoint at least one dedicated fire warden who will take full responsibility for creating and maintaining fire safety procedures.
In the event of a fire, this employee should know how to keep everyone safe. They should also have the ability to co-ordinate an evacuation and plan appropriate escape routes. On top of this, they should be responsible for training staff members on how and when these routes should be used.
5. Keep the Workplace Clean
Messy workplaces contain a lot more health and safety hazards than tidy ones do. For this reason, you should ensure that all stock is secured safely and that all flammable materials and liquids are stored in line with COSHH regulations.
You should also have cleaning schedules in place that ensure all combustible waste, such as waste paper and dust, are regularly removed from your building.
Follow these five points and you’ll be able to mitigate risk. You can never guarantee that a fire will not occur, but by putting the right provisions in place, you can limit the likelihood your business will experience one. Plus, you’ll also ensure that, even if the worst happens and a fire does start, your staff members and customers will be safe.