The fire protection agency is the UK’s national fire safety organisation. It works to help identify the dangers of fire and help to reduce risks. They have recently launched their ‘know your building’ campaign to mark their 75th anniversary which comprises of three main aims:
- For all businesses to have a fire strategy in place as part of their business continuity plan
- For sprinkler systems to be a regular requirement in commercial buildings (such as schools, hospitals and care homes)
- For third party certification to be a regulatory requirement for all fire safety services and products. This includes those who are: fire risk assessors, fire door installers, sprinkler installers and maintainers and fire alarm installers and maintainers.
Fires not only pose as a threat to safety but, they also cause damage to property and buildings which can of course be very costly. For example, the average cost to a business in the event of a fire is £657,074. After the building is damaged, there is interruption to normal business operations, damage to building contents, loss of machinery, damage to stock and loss of rent. All of these combined make fires often disastrous to a businesses finances.
The FPA’s bid to make it regulatory to have sprinklers installed in all commercial buildings is backed up by the statistic that the British economy has lost £1bn and 5,000 full time jobs through preventable fires in commercial warehouses in the past five years alone.
Ensuring you ‘know your building’ can help drastically reduce these figures so that lives, money and jobs are saved. By highlighting the cost that fires can cause businesses, the FPA are hoping to increase the understanding of why it’s important to have a good fire safety plan in place.
Creating a fire risk blind spot calculator, the FPA have helped business owners identify gaps in their fire safety awareness whilst evaluating four main areas; building knowledge, fire protection systems, training and competency and organisational resilience and only takes five to ten minutes to complete.
Jonathan O’Neil, Managing Director of the FPA comments on sprinklers in commercial buildings, ‘It really is a no brainer. Insurers, fire chiefs and architects are all united in their view that sprinklers are the most effective way of controlling fires, saving lives and improving the resilience of the built environment.”.
Posing as a risk to livelihoods, the FPA’s ‘know your building’ campaign draws attention to the importance of fire safety and the procedures that need to be carried out to ensure all fires can be avoided. With the correct fire protection and prevention systems in place, a large fire can be contained, in turn minimising damage.