Every business owner understands how important it is to keep their staff safe and protected from the risks of fire. But what if the worse should happen? Would your staff know what to do if the fire alarm sounds? The most effective way to reduce the risks associated with fires on your business premises is to increase your staff fire safety training.
In a shocking report carried out about workplace fire safety, it was stated that nearly 50% of staff had never received any workplace fire safety training. Most of those interviewed said they were unsure of what procedure they should follow in the event of a fire. This is a surprising revelation considering that all employers are legally obliged to ensure that all staff are given fire safety instructions suitable for their needs.
Fire safety training
Unless your workplace environment is a particularly hazardous one where specialist fire safety training is essential for all operatives working on site, there may not be an actual need for any professional training from an outside body. In most cases a workplace with a low risk of fire outbreaks can provide adequate training by simply pointing out the on-site Fire Action Notices that are strategically placed around your premises.
Staff should also be made aware of the action in the event of a fire, fire safety measures within the building (position and use of fire extinguishers, alarm points etc.), where their fire gathering point is on evacuation of the building, understand who is their nominated fire safety officer who assists with evacuation, the procedure for evacuating everyone including children and disabled people from the premises, how to call for the emergency services.
Staff should also have regular fire drills to help them practice and understand the evacuation procedure. These drills should ideally be taken at least once per year, especially when you have new staff members joining your team who would be unfamiliar with your procedures.
Fire alarm maintenance
It is also of utmost importance to ensure you keep your fire alarm fully maintained and in perfect working order. For the safety of your on-site employees, it is no good having a faulty, damaged or disconnect fire alarm system that will not work in the event of a fire breaking out on your premises.
Should a member of staff discover a fire and attempt to raise the alarm by smashing an alarm point only to find it ineffective, then it is not only their life that you are putting at risk but also those lives of your other employees within the building, especially those workers who may be unaware of a fire breakout and risk being trapped should their safe exit be compromised by a spreading fire.
This is why it pays you to have your fire alarms regularly inspected, tested and serviced by trained professionals. Not only will you get great peace of mind from knowing that your fire alarm and other fire safety equipment is in full working order, you can also be confident that your fire alarm will work in the event of an emergency enabling the safe evacuation of your staff.
Having a fully functional fire safety alarm system in place will also mean that should you be unfortunate enough to suffer from a fire, the alarm will more quickly be raised and the fire dealt with more effectively by the emergency services. This will result in less risk of the fire spreading and causing more damage to your business, which in turn will cost less to put right and will not put your business out of action for longer than necessary.