Tips and Guidance
There are small measures you can take which can help prevent a fire occurring at work.
Quick Workplace checklist
Here are some quick workplace essentials to check:
- Store stock safely - make sure stairs and exits are clear.
- Do your employees know where the alarms points are so they can warn others if a fire breaks out?
- Closed doors hold back fires and stop them spreading. Make sure your workplace does not have doors wedged open.
- Make sure you store things that catch fire away from things that cause fire.
- Will you be recruiting new staff for Christmas? Make sure you induct them on fire safety.
- Ensure staff and visitors have safe and clear routes to get out if there's a fire.
- Have you identified a safe fire assembly point in case you need to evacuate?
- Do your staff know of any significant findings resulting from your fire risk assessment?
You should know the location of your firefighting equipment, how it works and what type of fire it should be used on.
- Don't put yourself in danger and always keep yourself between the fire and the exit
- Don't place extinguishers over cookers, heaters or places of extreme heat
- Do read the instructions
- Do recharge the extinguisher if fully or partially discharged
- Do service properly once a year or in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations
- Remember - don't let fires extinguish your life
Portable fire extinguishers
Portable fire extinguishers are only designed to be used to tackle fire in its very early stages, and you should always ensure that the fire service has been called when fire breaks out.
A fire should not be tackled if it has started to spread to other items in the room or if the room is filling with smoke.
If you cannot put out a fire or the fire extinguisher becomes empty, move away from the fire, and close the doors behind you.
All new fire extinguishers should comply with BS EN3:1996. This requires them to be coloured red with a zone of colour which indicates the contents.
Extinguishers manufactured prior to 1996 should conform to BS 5423:1987. These are still acceptable, and can be used until they need to be replaced.
Choose extinguishers that carry a kite mark or the special British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE) mark. A list of approved companies who supply equipment can be obtained from BAFE.
Portable fire extinguishers can be categorised by their contents. This may make them particularly suitable for use on a particular type of fire and dangerous on others. Portable fire extinguishers must never be used on oil or fat pan fires in the home as the jet from the extinguisher may force burning fat out of the pan. A fire blanket is recommended for this type of fire.
Portable fire extinguishers should be affixed to a wall at a convenient height, on escape routes or outside living areas and close to specific risks as well as out of the reach of children.
Fire Blankets should conform to BS 6575. Some are designed to be thrown away after use or used again after laundering, so refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
Fire Precautions Log Book
The Fire Legislation currently in force on your premises will require you to carry out and record a programme of routine Inspection Test and Maintenance of all the fire safety features and equipment contained within your premises along with a programme of Fire Safety Training for your staff.
If you need any further advice or have any questions regarding the purposes of the Log Book or Applicable Legislation, please contact your local Fire Safety Office.