Office environments are full of fire risks, with an abundance of electrical equipment, flammable materials, and a large concentration of people in a small area. For business owners, the potential loss of files and data and the cost and inconvenience of moving to a temporary location could badly affect your ability to continue trading.
With the day to day running of your office and other pressing responsibilities taking up most of your time, fire safety is understandably not a priority. At FireCare, we can take care of your office’s fire safety and compliance on your behalf, giving you peace of mind that your premises are protected against fire.
Top Causes of Fires in Offices
Some of the most common causes of fire in offices are electrical equipment such as printers, computers, or shredders. This equipment is especially hazardous in an office because it is usually surrounded by flammable objects such as paper or cardboard.
Another common cause of fire in office environments relates to smoking and in particular where cigarettes are not disposed of properly. Failure to install proper smoking zones and cigarette disposal points can lead to an increased risk of fire yet can be easily rectified by implementing designated smoking zones or a no-smoking policy.
How to Protect Your Office Against Fire
The most effective way to protect your offices against the risk of fire is to conduct a thorough fire risk assessment and put a strong evacuation procedure in place. As an employer, manager or business owner, it is your responsibility under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) to ensure that reasonable steps have been taken to reduce the risk of fire in your office. At FireCare, our trained fire risk assessors can review your premises, identify potential causes of fire, recognize those at risk, and plan effective evacuation routes to help protect your office and employees.
Fire Risk Assessments
An effective fire risk assessment must be completed by a competent individual who has knowledge of fire safety. The assessment should ensure that all hazards are recorded and reduced where possible or mitigated entirely. Whether you choose a trained employee or a third-party fire safety expert such as FireCare to complete your fire risk assessment, the following tasks must be completed and recorded:
- Identify any fire risks (e.g. electrical equipment)
- Identify any risks which could prevent the safe evacuation of employees or visitors in the event of a fire (e.g. blocked fire exits)
- Consider those who may be particularly at risk in the event of a fire
- Where possible, mitigate or reduce any fire risks (e.g. getting electrical equipment tested regularly)
- Provide general precautions for fire risks which are still present
- Provide protection against flammable or explosive materials
- Create an evacuation plan and record it
- Review your findings when necessary
Fire Safety Training
In the event of a fire, evacuating your offices quickly and efficiently could prevent injury or even loss of life. Identifying those most at risk is of vital importance, and may include immobile employees or those with disabilities, people working near fire risks, employees who work alone or in isolated areas, or people who are unfamiliar with the office layout (e.g., visitors or contractors).
By introducing fire safety training to your workforce, you could prevent a small fire from causing serious damage to your property or harm to your employees. Providing basic fire safety guidance to your team such as good housekeeping, evacuation best practices and fire equipment training could give you peace of mind that your team are well-prepared and drilled in the event of a fire.
At FireCare, we take the pain out of fire safety through hassle-free, thorough fire risk assessment, fire safety equipment, fire extinguisher, and fire training services, which we offer to businesses throughout Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, and London. To book your complementary office compliance audit, or to find out more about our Fire Risk Assessment service, contact our friendly team today.