Whether your team is working mostly remotely or not, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a fire. And despite the precautions businesses put in place to protect their equipment and staff, the number of fires that do take place in the UK is still staggeringly high.
A small outbreak can quickly lead to very serious and dangerous situations that can destroy a business and potentially take human lives. Accountability and prevention are absolutely critical when dealing with the issue of fire safety.
The truth is, there are many practices you can put in place to lessen the risk of fires, which includes finding ways to stop them from happening in the first place as well as policies that prepare people for what to do if a fire does happen.
You wouldn’t let combustible materials simply lie around in your home, so why is it any different in the workplace?
If your workplace stores or uses flammable or combustible materials, you must have sound policies in place that make sure these items are always looked after and handled in the right way as to avoid potential fires breaking out.
Disposal and handling processes must be highly regulated and safety must be considered for your workers, as well as any surrounding property and people. This is especially important if you are located in a busy business park where other businesses reside close to you, meaning fires could spread rapidly from your office to others.
2. Human Error
Several things can happen accidentally that cause fires, such as burning food in a staff area, spilling flammable liquids, improper use of machinery, or simple carelessness. Things like designated smoking areas, clean up policies for cooking areas and general awareness initiatives can help a lot to stay on top of this issue.
It’s always important that your new employees are properly trained on how to use fire extinguishers and everyone is aware of the potential fire risks in the workplace that could happen due to human error.
3. Faulty Equipment
Electrical faults can happen quite regularly. They tend to be caused by defective wiring, overloaded sockets or plugs, and old equipment. If your computers and wiring are arranged messily, it’s easy for nearby combustible materials to catch fire due to sparks.
It is necessary for management or those responsible for the safety of the property to conduct assessments and checks on all electrical equipment at a workplace to ensure it functions properly and is not a safety hazard.
4. Clutter and Mess
Being tidy is good for more things than one. Clutter is a common issue in offices and if regular cleaning and maintenance are not carried out, the risk of fires breaking out can go up, especially in places that are full with combustible materials and fire hazards.
For example, kitchen units where there is built-up oil, grease and food packaging, combined with poorly ventilated areas can quickly lead to fires breaking out which are hard to control. The best solution here is a regular cleaning regime and making it clear what you expect of your staff when it comes to tidying up after themselves.
Also, blocking of ventilation areas, stacked paper or card in a flammable area, or misusing flammable or combustible materials, can lead to fires. In an organisation with large employee turnover rates, business owners should conduct regular reviews, training and assessments to reduce any risk of fires in the future.
Protect Your Office or Shop from Fire Hazards
If you manage or own an office or shop you believe could be at the risk of fire hazards, it’s prudent that you conduct a diligent fire risk assessment of your property to identify areas that fires could break out.
At UK-Fire Risk Assessments, we offer reliable offices and shops fire safety risk assessment that can quickly give you peace of mind and safeguard your business from damage.