Would Your Small Business Benefit From Fire Safety Training?
There has been a big focus on fire safety in the UK in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, not only for those that own and operate residential tower blocks, but for businesses as a whole.
As Real Business recently pointed out, it’s shone a light on why firms have to stick to such exacting regulation when it comes to fire safety. But as a small business, it can be difficult to keep on top of all of your obligations.
Fire safety, as Grenfell Tower shows, is one area where you can’t afford to slip up though. So it’s always worth organising regular updates to you RoSPA fire safety and evacuation training.
If you’re new to owning a business, you need to make sure that you understand exactly what your responsibilities are and what training you need to provide your staff.
One of the most important things to do is carry out a fire safety risk assessment of your premises. You can’t do this once and then file it away though, you need to regularly review it to ensure that it’s still relevant and accurate.
The website offered some advice on how to conduct a thorough fire safety risk assessment, to give you a good place to start.
Begin by identifying any fire hazards, which includes potential sources of ignition. What those might be will very much depend on the nature of your business. In terms of anything that could start a fire, you should have measures in place to prevent that from happening.
You need to evaluate all fire risks and implement appropriate measures to either eliminate them altogether or reduce the risk of them causing a blaze. When you’re training your staff, make sure they understand why you have certain safety measures in place.
Another part of your fire safety risk assessment is identifying people at risk. This could be because they have a disability and will therefore need a specific evacuation plan. You will need a comprehensive evacuation plan for everyone who works in your building.
You also need to consider how a fire could be identified and how the alarm should be raised. The most appropriate option will depend on your business and the premises you work out of.
You should also have a plan for an emergency, which will detail who needs to do what and how your staff and any customers can leave the premises safely. If you have multiple members of staff, it can be sensible to designate a fire marshall who’s well-versed in the emergency procedure.
Making sure that all your staff know the basic fire safety procedures should be an essential part of their induction though, and it never hurts to run refresher training for people who have worked for you for longer.
Earlier in March, an article for Shout Out UK stressed the importance of paying attention to fire safety signs and labels, noting that they could one day save your life. We see these signs all over the place, at work, in shops and bars, on public transport, but many of us fail to properly read them.
However, the news provider noted that reading the fire safety signs isn’t enough – you also need training in how to use fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, to ensure that if you are in a situation where you have to use it you don’t lose valuable time reading the instructions.