To protect your workforce and buildings from the devastating impact of a fire, precautions need to be in place to prevent fire. But you should also think about early warning and protection should a fire occur. In this post, we will look at the weekly fire safety procedures you should have in place to make sure you can take quick action and escape, should a fire break out.
A fire risk assessment is a great place to start, but things can change over time. People can move things, leave doors open, remove signs and fire extinguishers can go missing. Maintenance and building work can change the layout or structure of areas. Regularly carrying out fire safety procedures can help you and your team be ready to take swift action should a fire start.
Once you have completed your fire risk assessment, and implemented appropriate fire safety requirements, you shouldn't forget about fire. Small simple checks and updates can are well worth it in the event you need to take fire action.
These 10 weekly fire safety procedures can help you maintain good fire protection standards.
If a fire does break out, you need to ensure that all building occupants can escape to a place of safety. Check escape routes for any obstructions or trip hazards.
Early fire detection and warning is essential. Quick action can prevent a fire escalating and early warning is vital to give everyone time to escape . Check that your alarm is in good working order and heard throughout the building.
What use is firefighting equipment if it can’t be used in an emergency? You should get your extinguishers serviced annually, but also visually check equipment each week for any obvious signs of use or damage.
Could you find an extinguisher if you needed one? Are they accessible? Yes, extinguishers take up room in areas you could use for that filing cabinet, but the filing cabinet won’t be much use to you if a fire breaks out. Make sure your extinguishers are visible and easily accessible so they are on hand, should you need them.
Can all final exit doors be opened easily and immediately if there is an emergency? Make sure that fire escape doors swing in the direction of the escape. Speaking of fire doors, they only work to contain a fire if they are closed, you should also check that fire doors are not left wedged open for any reason.
Are your escape routes well lit up? Will people be able to see where they are going if they need to escape? Natural, artificial and emergency escape lighting should all be considered, depending on the time of day the building is in use. Weekly checks can be used to test that lighting is in good working order. People need to see clearly the way to safety.
Signage and fire notices are essential for having a clear and efficient escape strategy. You might know the way out, but if your building is used by visitors, or even if you have new staff, they may not be entirely familiar with the building layout. And would they know where to report to in the event of a fire? Keep your messages clear and simple, and keep your signs visible.
Check your building every week, because things change. You might have builders in for some alterations, or damage may have occurred. Keep an eye out for any holes or gaps in walls, ceilings and floors e.g. where services such as ventilation ducts and electrical cables pass through them. Make sure they are properly sealed and fire stopped to prevent fire spread.
Providing information is one thing, but the theory needs to meet practice. Fire drills will help you test how effective your plans are, and allow you to make any changes needed to improve procedures. It also gives your staff a chance to learn the behaviour required should a fire occur. It's better for the first time you test your fire evacuation procedure to be a practice, rather than an actual emergency!
Record your assessment, fire training, equipment maintenance and checks. This will document your compliance with the fire regulations, and also help you manage fire safety within your premises.
Need help getting your fire management procedures to meet current regulations? Start with our fire risk assessment template to create a professional fire risk assessment report for your premises.