There is a report here of a fire in Wavendon Gate Combined School in Milton Keynes at the beginning of last month. The fire started in a shed and spread to the main building but the school was able to open for business as usual despite fire damage.
The blaze happened late on a Sunday night so it is unlikely that anyone was hurt, but damage to premises can be extremely debilitating to operations. The costs of a fire can grow far beyond estimation just in time lost to make the premises suitable for business practices again, not to mention expense of actual repair.
The report states the fire was started in a shed. Sheds could be considered high-risk in a fire risk assessment especially if they have power to them. Sheds could be considered high risk for a number of reasons:
- They are often less secure than main buildings and therefore an easier target for arsonists.
- The condition of any power supply may degrade quicker due to being outside.
- Sheds may be overlooked for fire alarms and extinguishers as they are not part of the main building.
- People are the best fire detection and probably do not spend as much time in sheds as main buildings.
For this reason they should be included in the fire risk assessment so that you are aware of the risks and can manage them effectively so that both the chance of a fire and the risk to people can be reduced to a minimum or removed completely.
Another good thing to bare in mind if you are constructing sheds on your property is to keep them away from the main building so that if a fire does start in there it is unlikely to spread to the main building.
If it does not spread to the main building then any expenses incurred for repair will be kept to a minimum, interruption to your main business practices will be kept to a minimum and risk to people will be kept to a minimum.