Health and Safety

Fire Safety In The Workplace

Overview of Fire Safety for UK Businesses

Most fires are preventable by good fire safety practices, particularly those in workplaces and other buildings that the public may have access to.

By taking responsibility or adopting the right behaviours and fire procedures, businesses can make sure preventable fires do not happen in the workplace. Legislation relevant to fire safety:

Fire Safety Risk Assessments

In the majority of premises, local fire and rescue authorities enforce this fire safety legislation. Fire safety is an important part of health and safety law and to help prevent fires in the workplace, there should be a risk assessment to identify what could cause a fire, any substances that could burn in or create a fire and people that may be at risk in the event of a fire.

Once an employer has identified the risks, there can be appropriate actions taken to control them.

In some cases, whether they are avoidable altogether or not. If completely avoiding fires is not possible, employers and businesses can look at how to reduce the risks and manage them correctly. If there is a fire, measures should be in place on how an employer and employees can protect people in this event. Some ways in which they can do this:

  • Carry out fire safety, review and update fire risk assessments regularly.
  • Keep sources of ignition or flammable substances stored correctly and apart from where possible.
  • Avoid accidental fires by making sure heaters are not left on. Any rubbish or other material is thrown aware as these things are easy to ignite in the event of an accident.
  • Consider how to detect fires and how to warn people if a fire started. This can be done by installing fire alarms, smoke detectors, or sprinkler systems.
  • Have the correct firefighting equipment available for putting out fires quickly. This means the correct fire extinguishers for the types of fires seen in the workplace, fire blankets and regular checks of equipment by professionals.
  • Keep fire exits or escapes marked and unobstructed at all times.  
  • Ensure workers receive appropriate training on the procedures they must follow in the event of a fire this can include performing fire drills and making fire assembly points known.

What is a Fire Warden?

A fire warden is a person (s) designated with training by a business and they are responsible for assisting in and implementing the necessary fire safety arrangements as identified by the manager or director.

General fire Marshall or fire warden training course certificates expire every three years and do not require accreditation. However, depending on the nature of the business and the risks of fire events, training can and should be provided more often. From a legal standpoint, anybody with sufficient knowledge, understanding and expertise can deliver fire marshal training and there is no requirement for a trainer to be accredited or formally approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Fire Wardens are responsible within the premise to uphold the requirements of fire risk assessments and certification/training of other staff members may require more up-to-date measures.

The duty of a fire warden in the workplace is to aid in preventing fires and helping to prevent the health and safety of occupants and other relevant persons from being endangered in the event of a fire starting. Fire wardens ensure the continuity of workplace safety and are an important risk control measure that can be utilised.

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