Fire FAQs

1. Who is responsible for fire safety at work?

In most circumstances, the person responsible for fire safety is the owner of the business, the employer or landlord. They should maintain fire safety and follow guidelines to ensure everyone in the building is as safe as possible. Known as the ‘responsible person’, they should ensure that fire exits are visible and clear, there are appropriate fire evacuation procedures in place and that all employees are trained when it comes to fire safety in the workplace.

2. What types of fire are there?

Although you may not realise, there are different types of fire that are caused by various components and need different fire extinguishers to put them out. To help identify what type of fire there is, they are categorised into different groups.

For example, a Class A fire is caused by everyday combustibles such as wood, paper and cloth. Class B fires are started due to flammable liquids such as gases and oils. Class C fires are caused due to flammable gasses with class D fires being started by combustible metals such as lithium and potassium. Class K fires are started by cooking oils and vegetable fats. Whilst electrical fires are of coursed caused due to an electrical fault such as a build up of wires.

3. What are general fire hazards?

Fire hazards are anything that pose as a potential threat as a cause of fire and they can be anywhere. In businesses such as offices, an example of a fire hazard could be human neglect with the build up of wires or faulty electrical equipment. Without realising, fire hazards can be very serious with other examples being flammable liquids being left out, smoking, a build up of dust, overloaded power sockets and kitchen equipment. Ensuring you know what fire hazards may be in your environment and how to avoid them can help reduce the risk of fire and keep everyone safe.

4. What is a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment is something that businesses should carry out in order to keep everyone safe from the risk of fire. They are a legal requirement and must be carried out by the owner or manager of the business in order to remain within fire health and safety guidelines. Fire risk assessments aim to assess potential fire hazards and put preventative steps in place, outline fire escape route, include training and also help to keep a record of what risk assessment procedures are in place.

5. What is included in a fire risk assessment?

Fire risk assessments should be carried out by companies in order to abide by current fire safety laws and to keep everyone safe. With this, fire risk assessments are a great way to manage and control the safety of buildings and everyone inside.

Fire risk assessments allow you to effectively manage fire safety by following simple steps to ensure there is an appropriate level of safety. A fire risk assessment should firstly include assessing which people would be exposed to a potential fire, identify the fire hazards, evaluate and remove the risks and then record your findings whilst preparing an emergency plan for what to do in a fire - this should also include providing appropriate training. Once your fire risk assessment is in place, you should review it regularly in order to remain up to date.

6. Are there different types of fire extinguishers and what are they used for?

There are a number of different fire extinguishers that are designed to put different fires out. These extinguishers are made using different elements in order to put a fire out. Examples of fire extinguishers are foam, water, mist, CO2 and powder and they are made to put out a range of fires which are categorised into classes such as Class A, B, C, D, F and electrical fires.

7. How do I keep up to fire safety standards at work?

Keeping fire safety standards up at work is really easy. Knowing your environment and what poses as a potential fire hazard means that you can quickly learn how to prevent a fire occurring. For example, if you work in an office, always make sure that electrical wires are always kept tidy, if you work in a kitchen, keep all appliances clean and don’t overfill pots with oil or grease.

Knowing what are potential fire hazards in your environment can make a huge difference when it comes to preventing a fire. Next time you are at work, take a look at your area and see if you feel that any fire safety improvements could be made - something as simple as keeping the fire exits clear can make a huge difference.

8. Why would I need a fire safety DVD?

Fire safety DVDs are a great way to train a group of people at once without needed to pay for the additional expense of external training. They are informative and allow for great training when it comes to new employees or if you need to provide refresher training. There are a number of different fire safety DVDs avaiable in order for you to pick the ideal DVD for your environment. If you were providing fire training in a kitchen for example, you would pick a different fire safety DVD compared to if you needed to train people in an office.

9. Who should conduct a fire risk assessment?

There is not a law that states who should carry out a fire risk assessment however, it should be done by somebody who is competent enough to complete a sufficient assessment. This means that appropriate fire safety training should be given to someone who is more than able to carry out a fire risk assessment with many businesses employing a health and safety advisor to help carry out the task. The fire brigade can also carry out checks to ensure that you have carried out an appropriate fire risk assessment so it’s really important that it is done properly.

10. By law, what fire training should I give to my employees?

Under the Fire Safety Regulations Act (2006), all employers have a legal duty to provide fire safety training to their staff in order to ensure safety is maintained in the workplace. It should be carried out on a regular basis with refresher training offered so that all employees are aware of the fire risks in their workplace.

Fire training at work should identify potential fire hazards, preventative steps, escape routes and what to do in an emergency. Such training can be delivered via DVD or a health and safety staff member so that appropriate fire safety can be given.