Why is fire safety so important in the workplace?

Why is fire safety so important in the workplace?

Neglecting fire safety can lead to serious detrimental impacts in the work place such as damage to property, buildings and of course the risk to people’s health and safety. As an employer it is one of the most important responsibilities to consider so that staff and the general public are kept safe.

In order to ensure fire safety is kept to a high standard in the workplace, employers should deliver training to new staff members as well as refresher training annually so that all employees know the procedure and steps to follow to avoid a fire emergency.

Fire training can be delivered in person or via an educational video which is useful as it can be used numerous times and shown to large groups of people. This ultimately reduces your costs whilst ensuring all of your staff members know the relevant fire hazards for your business. It is of course important to remember that fire safety training would differ from workplace to workplace as there are different hazards in different environments.

Staff working in a kitchen for example would need training that would differ from those working in an office or warehouse as of course a kitchen poses different fire hazards such as fires being caused from an oven or hob compared to electrical fire risks in an office setting.

When it comes to considering fire safety in the workplace, it’s also important to ensure all staff are aware of their nearest fire exit and where their assembly point is. Having regular fire drills and fire alarm tests means that should the worst happen, and a fire occurs, everyone knows what to do and where to go. Following through with tasks such as this means that as an employer, you have taken adequate steps to ensure you have considered your employees safety so, should a fire occur, damage is reduced to a minimum.

It’s also important to have appropriate signage and fire equipment in your building when considering fire safety. Tools such as a hose, fire extinguisher and first aid kit as well as signs to show the fire exit means that everyone in the building knows where to go should a fire occur and where equipment is should they need it.

In the year ending March 2020, fire and rescue services attended 153,957 fires (GOV UK) with the main cause of fires including cooking appliances, smoker’s materials and misuse of equipment or appliances. These factors can of course all apply to businesses which is why special attention should be focused upon ensuring fire safety in workplace kitchens as well as making sure all staff know how to correctly use any equipment that they use for their job.
Only a few years ago in the year 2016-2017, there were 17 reported deaths from workplace fires highlighting just how important it is to consider fire safety in your workplace. As an employer it is your responsibility to consider the safety of your workforce and so completing fire risk assessments and appointing a fire warden who is responsible for fire safety is a good way of maintaining this.

Ultimately, if you own a the building or are the employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure you follow the appropriate fire safety steps to make sure you are keeping everyone in your building safe.

25th Oct 2020 Christopher Maltby CW

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