How to protect people, property and stock from fire should be high on the priority list of all businesses.
Fire crews were recently called out on a Sunday evening to a Stockport manufacturing business on a shared industrial estate. Fortunately, no one was harmed. It took 20 firefighters around 3 hours to tackle the blaze. The fire was confined to one area causing limited damage, although the whole site was smoke logged. The initial investigation revealed that it may have been a heater left near cardboard boxes. Had the fire spread to neighbouring businesses, the cost to the business owner would have been even higher.
This is an obvious hazard and risk of fire to safety professionals. but is frequently overlooked by employers and employees. Obvious hazards must be identified and action taken to control those hazards.
The purpose of a Fire Risk Assessment
A fire risk assessment asks certain questions about the site and checks that suitable provisions are in place. In particular,
- In case of fire.
- To avoid fires.
- That everyone can get out if there was a fire.
The Fire and Rescue Service will expect every business to take an in depth look at their fire safety provisions, no matter what the business activities are. From office to engineering, from cafe to college. The result of this is that your business is less likely to be involved in a fire in the first place.
Workers may know that things are lacking in the health and safety areas, but often feel that it is pointless to raise their concerns because of lack of support. This attitude can spread across the whole workforce, creating a stagnant culture. Ultimately, this means that potentially bad practices become accepted and unchallenged.
Change must start at the top and work it’s way down. Only then can a cohesive and strategic safety culture begin to develop. Everyone needs to be involved in health and safety. Everyone should be looking out for each other, so that no one person bears the burden. That said, if you own a business or building, you are accountable for the fire safety provisions.
Fire Safety Training is essential!
Training the whole team in fire safety awareness is money well spent for any business. A simple awareness course takes just two hours with limitless benefits. After training, people will be looking out for fire hazards, and each other. Given a voice, knowledge and time, they will often suggest ways to reduce the risk of fires, and take immediate action on the employers behalf. That’s exactly how it should be, everyone involved for the same positive outcome.
If you haven’t carried out a fire risk assessment for your workplace, or need a review of your existing controls, get in touch for a free quote. Call 0161 298 1040 or complete the contact form and we’ll call you back.