Fire safety: how can you effectively apply fire safety regulations in the workplace?

Reducing the risk of fire and increasing fire safety in the workplace is incredibly important. Corporate buildings must comply with fire prevention and protection regulations in order to optimise workplace safety. As part of this, they’ll often need to conduct – or oversee – a fire safety assessment for the building. They’ll also need to provide effective fire safety equipment throughout the building and adequate fire safety training for all employees. So, what are the best ways to reduce risk and increase safety in the workplace?

Fire safety tip 1: train fire safety officers within your staff

Providing specific training for fire safety officers within your workforce is a vital step towards increasing your employees’ fire safety.

Fire safety officers tend to be mainly trained in fire prevention, helping to reduce the risk of an emergency fire situation within the work building. Fire safety officers will also be required to know the latest fire safety regulations, in order to effectively advise and organise regular fire safety training for company employees, as well as regular testing of fire safety equipment throughout the building.

Fire safety officers are also usually responsible for carrying out regular maintenance of fire safety equipment throughout the company building. A regular safety assessment timetable would enable the designated fire safety officers to ensure the highest possible levels of fire protection.

Fire safety officers are also responsible for raising employee awareness regarding fire safety and equipment, as well as for intervention in the event of an emergency in the building.

Company fire safety officers will also be able to provide advice on fire safety training, regulations, equipment, emergency evacuation procedures and general fire safety information to your workplace’s wider network of employees.

Fire safety officers are likely to be a compulsory presence in premises that are open to the public, in order to ensure there are adequate fire safety procedures in place.

Fire safety tip 2: fire safety qualifications and training for your staff

Your company may want to consider investing in recognised fire safety qualifications for your company’s fire safety officers, as well as for general senior safety officers.

You may want to sub-divide your fire safety team into an organised structure, with a head of fire safety overseeing fire safety managers, who in turn oversee fire safety officers. A similar system could be implemented for general safety officers, as well as for company first aiders.

Investing in top quality health and safety training – including specific fire safety training – for your employees is a key component for ensuring that you protect your employees’ safety.

Fire safety tip 3: emergency procedures and fire safety equipment in public establishments and high-rise buildings

It’s especially important to have well-trained fire safety officers in high-rise office buildings and premises that are open to the public.

These types of establishments must often comply with specific fire safety regulations, including – for example – the adequate installation of fire alarms, smoke detectors and other safety devices throughout the building. Effective evacuation plans are also of particular importance for these buildings.

Furthermore, these buildings will need to organise effective evacuation plans and rapid emergency service intervention protocols in order to best protect employee safety.

Fire safety equipment and evacuation planning are often incorporated into the construction process of the building itself. This ensures that strategically located fire safety equipment and effective evacuation routes are considered from the ground up, ensuring optimum fire risk prevention and fire safety for both employees and members of the public.

Many buildings – especially older constructions – will be required to periodically upgrade their evacuation procedures and fire safety equipment, in order to comply with the latest fire risk prevention and fire safety regulations.

If these premises breach these fire safety regulations, they risk closure by the relevant fire safety authorities.

Fire safety tip 4: additional ideas for corporate fire safety

Compliance with the latest health and safety regulations
Corporate premises are legally required to comply with the latest health and safety regulations in order to effectively reduce the risks faced by their employees, as well as optimising workplace safety.

Ensuring compliance with fire safety regulations is an integral part of this process. Make sure that appropriate fire safety prevention and protection equipment is available throughout the building, as well as clear information about emergency procedures and evacuation plans.

Employees should be made aware of how they can manually trigger the building’s fire alarms. Then, they can raise awareness of an emergency situation if they notice a fire before it triggers the smoke detectors within the building.

Strategic placement of fire extinguishers
Ensure that fire extinguishers are strategically located throughout the workplace building and that all employees know how to use these in the event of a fire.

Regular employee training
Keep employee fire safety training updated and make sure that all employees have access to accurate fire safety information. Designated company fire safety officers could be made responsible for keeping employee fire safety information and training up to date.

Evacuation plans
Provide clear and accurate information about fire evacuation plans, in order to effectively safeguard employees in the event of a fire in the workplace building. These evacuation plans will need to comply with the latest fire safety regulations, as well as clearly designating fire evacuation assembly points for employees to re-group in the event of an emergency.

Emergency lighting
Emergency lighting is a key component of ensuring adequate fire safety for employees. In the event of a fire, large quantities of smoke could easily obscure employees’ vision within the workplace building. In these cases, emergency lighting will help to effectively guide people out of the building, facilitating effective evacuation and increasing employee safety.

As well as corporate premises, it’s vital to ensure effective fire risk prevention and fire safety in your own home. As the home owner, you’ll be responsible for regularly checking your home smoke detectors, ensuring they have working batteries, etc. Did you know that smoke detectors are also able to detect toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide? Install a Netatmo Smart Smoke Detector to effectively increase your fire safety at home!