As one of Europe’s leading fire safety apps, we’d consider ourselves to know a thing or two about the topic. As part of this month’s blog, we thought we’d impart some of that wisdom in a handy checklist.
According to Firemark, you are seven times more likely to experience a fire if you live in shared or rented accommodation. A fire in your building can wreak unfathomable damage – damage that can be multiplied significantly if you are a leaseholder or responsible for a multiple-occupancy building such as a hotel or apartment block. From faulty appliances to unattended cigarettes, fires can be caused accidentally or deliberately in many ways.
1. Have a comprehensive fire safety plan that all tenants or employees are familiar with
What does a good fire safety plan entail? A fire safety plan will outline with the inhabitants of a building will do in the event of a fire breaking out and what arrangements are put in place to prevent fires in the first place. If your organisation has five or more employees, or if you are licensed premises, legally, the details of your emergency plan must be recorded.
The fire safety plan will outline how the person responsible suggests that the fire safety risk assessment should be carried out and what measures are put in place to reduce risks. It should also set clear plans for fighting the fire, escape routes, and where to seek safety. Additional instruction should be put on evacuating high-risk or vulnerable such as children or the disabled. The fire safety plan should also give clear instructions on how to deal with people – how will they be warned of the fire in a way which does not alarm, and how to manage them after evacuation. Finally, it is crucial to instruct staff on how and when to alert the emergency services.
2. Ensure that all fire safety equipment is accessible.
As an employer or building owner, fire safety equipment will be your responsibility – ensuring that this equipment is accessible near any routes where fire may be a risk is crucial.
Fire safety equipment checklist:
Fire Alarm – Ensure that fire alarms are tested regularly – they can be your first responder in the case of an emergency and are essential for safe evacuation to reduce the risk of loss of life.
Fire Extinguisher – A fire extinguisher is integral to your fire prevention armoury. It may be worth researching which type of fire extinguisher is most suitable for your premises.
Fire Blanket – A fire blanket in a high-risk area such as a kitchen is designed to extinguish fires in a way that a regular blanket would not. For hotel or restaurant kitchens, it’s a must!
Health & Safety Poster – Under the Healthy and Safety at Work Act, all businesses must display this. This will highlight staff responsibilities in the case of a fire!
3. Ensure that staff are trained in fire safety and what to do in the case of an emergency
Communication is key to avoiding a disaster in the case of a fire—the more staff trained in fire safety, the smoother the evacuation process.
At the very least, your fire safety risk assessment should inform staff:
- What to do if you discover a fire
- How to sound the alarm in the event of a fire
- How to calmly guide others to safety and where to assemble outside of the building
- How to contact the emergency services
4. Keep common areas tidy
It may seem like a simple tip, but clear common areas, such as corridors, public doors or toilets, significantly reduce fire hazards and ensure a smooth evacuation. Untidy buildings increase fire risk significantly, and ensuring that staff and visitors adhere to this is key to reducing the chance of fire.
5. Accountability is key to fire safety
Logbooks have long been the cornerstone of a fire safety strategy. Logbooks would traditionally keep a record of tests and maintenance that have been carried out, as well as staff training. A well-kept logbook with dates ensures a level of accountability in the case of legal action.
Logbooks are at the liberty of human error; FireCloud365 eradicates that human error, with a completely digitised fire safety system. FireCloud365 can manage and keep track of all maintenance checks, report an incident, categorise’, assign, and set the status for all jobs, all from our unique mobile app. Follow the updates from report to completion.
Contact us to find out how FireCloud365 can increase compliance and reduce costs by up to 80%.