The current COVID-19 pandemic may adversely affect your business by reducing staffing levels and disrupting your normal working practice. But it is vital that the fire safety of your business and the safety of all the people working in or visiting your business are maintained.
REMEMBER: Where Covid secure measures remain in place, they should not adversely affect fire safety. Keep exit routes clear and available for use.
- Are your staff adequately trained?
- Do your staff know what to do in the event of a fire?
- Do staff know the building evacuation plan?
- Are staff aware of the fire exit routes?
- Is someone nominated to dial 999?
- Are staff expected to use fire extinguishers and, if so, are they trained?
- Is your Fire Risk Assessment up to date?
The fire risk assessment should be completed by a competent fire risk assessor. It is usually reviewed at least every 12 months and if there are any changes that may affect the fire safety of the premises. Such as, changes to the premises, processes and/or management system. Further information on fire risk assessments can be found at https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-risk-assessments
- Does your fire alarm work?
A fire alarm test should be carried out on a weekly basis using a different call point each time and it should be subject to an annual service by a suitably qualified engineer.
- Do you have enough fire extinguishers for your premises?
Extinguishers should be checked weekly and have an annual service by a qualified engineer.
- Are your exits clear?
Escape routes should be kept clear and designated fire exits should not be blocked by furniture or excess stock. DO NOT prop open fire doors, even if this is intended to minimse contact between staff and door handles. Fire exit doors should be available for use whenever the premises is occupied. Fire doors should be maintained in good condition so they can perform the job they are designed to do.
- Do self closing devices work?
- Are the intumescent strips and smoke seals around the edge of the door frame undamaged?
- Do your fire doors close correctly into the frame?
- Are they free from damage (e.g. from stock trolleys)?
- Is your business protected against arson?
- Make sure your business premises are secure out of hours
- Ideally all rubbish should be removed from site on a regular basis and stored securely until collection.
- Keep all entrances and exits of the building clear at all times
- Stock should not be kept in excessive amounts
- Lighting, CCTV and fencing will deter criminals
- For more information on keeping your business safe from arson, please read our 'Safer Business' leaflet on our website here.