As a business owner, it is your responsibility to keep your employees safe. Part of that responsibility includes conducting fire drills. Being proactive about fire safety in the workplace is not just an activity that we recommend you do, it's required by law. If you take a look at the fire safety regulations outlined by the UK government, they state that you must have appropriate fire detection and warning equipment on site. In addition, you should have fire fighting equipment that staff members know how to use, and it should be tested and maintained regularly.
What fire checks should I do?
- Ensure that all of your fire alarm systems are working. This includes fire detection and alarm equipment.
- Check that emergency lights that guide employees to the fire exists are working.
- Make a note of any faults you find and have them fixed as soon as possible.
- Ensure that all fire escapes are free from obstruction and easily accessible.
- Check that all automatic fire doors close correctly.
- Make sure there are fire exit signs in all the relevant places.
How often should we do a fire drill?
The government recommends that all businesses carry out at least one fire drill per year. Once completed, a record should be made to show that everyone in the business at that time took part in the drill. If a fire did occur and there was no record to show that you'd provided the necessary training, you could be held legally accountable for injuries that occur as a result of the fire.
What if we have a high turnover?
When new staff members join your business, they have no idea what your fire safety plan is, it's your responsibility to make sure that they can access it right away. This could include keeping maps, signs and instructions pinned up in a number of places around the workplace. If you have a period where a lot of new people join the business, you may want to conduct an additional fire drill to make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. The inconvenience of doing a fire drill is nothing in comparison to the guilt you'd feel if one of your staff members was unsure what to do during a fire.
Which places need to do fire drills more often?
There are some places, like schools, nurseries and care homes, where fire drills should be conducted multiple times a year. This helps the young and vulnerable to learn the processes and gives the staff an opportunity to highlight potential problems that could arise in a real-life situation. It's also important that if you take on members of staff with additional needs, for example, wheelchair users, that you adjust your fire drills and procedures accordingly.
How can IDS Security help me?
Here at IDS Security, we have years of experience helping all kinds of businesses make their premises fire safe. We offer a wide range of fire detection and alarm systems and we can even advise on the best equipment for you! We know that lots of business owners have a hard time assessing their own premises highlighting the most vulnerable places and deciding where to install sensors. We can help with all of that. All you have to do is get in touch!
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