Fire Safety Advice For Commercial Property
Due to the Covid pandemic many commercial properties have been left empty for long periods of time. As large numbers of office and other workers started to work from home to help reduce the risk of infection, buildings were closed up and left largely unattended.
While many continue to work from home some businesses and organisations are now opening up their workplaces so that staff can return to a more normal way of working and doing business.
In light of this we thought it would be helpful to remind those with responsibility for fire safety of the potential risks to be aware of, as those checks and procedures that were previously part of the working week may feel like a distant memory now.
Firstly, is your Fire Safety plan up to date? Consider whether there have been changes in the building or workspace that need to be reflected in the plan. It may also be necessary to refresh the memories of staff to be sure that they are aware of the plan.
This leads nicely onto training. Any regular users of the building, in whatever capacity, should receive safety plan training to bring them up to date.
When was your fire alarm system last checked and serviced? Routine maintenance is vital to ensure that it is in good working order. The same applies to fire extinguishers, fire doors and any sprinkler systems.
Lighting and electrical fixtures should also be checked. Whether you suspect a potential hazard or not, overloaded circuits, loose connections and faulty fuses can all result in fire breaking out so use a qualified professional to carry out these checks.
Cooking equipment causes the highest number of fires within commercial properties. While restaurants may be most at risk many other businesses will have smaller appliances such as kettles, toasters and microwaves for use by staff which should all be regularly safety tested.
Heating systems may also be at risk of overheating especially when they have been left unused for some time. They too, need regular safety checks and when in operation should be switched off as necessary at the end of the working day.
It is also important to regularly consider whether there are any fire hazards present. Perhaps put a reminder in your diary to check the whole of the premises once a week with this in mind. In our experience, the more obvious flammable sources such as chemicals and alcohol are often stored away carefully but you also need to consider other materials such as wood and paper. Whilst carrying out this check, also see that all communal areas and fire exits are clear and have not been used to store anything that may delay a quick evacuation in an emergency.
These steps can help ensure that your staff and customers are returning to an environment that is as safe as possible. Keeping safety front of mind and ensuring the appropriate safety measures are in place is vital. If you need any fire safety help or advice, please get in touch with our experienced team