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Fire safety precautions?

 
 
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Swordiii
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Joined: 27 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:53 pm    Post subject: Fire safety precautions? Reply with quote

Hi guys

I’m fairly new to business management, having until recently operated out of my flat! Anyway, the office I’ve moved to is settling nicely, and the employees I have seem to be getting on well, but I’m a little worried about fire safety issues as the office is quite crowded and I worry if it’s slightly hazardous. Are there any official legal documents that state what I need to ensure for the safety of my employees anywhere?
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trev
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually depends how many employees you've got, but up to 5 and often you don't need to provide anything like as much stuff.

The people who usually regulate this kind of thing are the HSE although you might also be able to get hold of the Fire Safety Officer who can give you some tips on what you need and even training for your employees. Best to contact the regional fire dept. HQ (number in the phone book).

Overall I would say just make sure that everyone knows where the fire escapes are, where the extinguishers are, make sure they're checked annually and that it's everyones responsibility to make sure that there are clear routes to all escapes - that's the key really.

Above a certain number you'll need to hold fire drills too, but if you're in an office complex then some of this comes down to the building management company, eg: fitting sprinklers and doing the fire drills.

Trev
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riskbase
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Joined: 27 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Swordiii

(Almost) All organizations need to adhere to the “Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005” – Google it and click on the OPSI link (or visit us at riskbase.co.uk for some more compact advice!).

You’ll need to do a fire risk assessment (and write it out if you’ve over more than 5 employees). The risk assessment should look at any risks you have (for instance storage of stock, lack of a fire alarm etc) and also define who is the responsible and competent person (probably you). The risk assessment should list hazards and the associated risk for that hazard and then define remedial actions (i.e. things you can do to reduce the risk). All of this needs to site under a heading called ‘Significant Findings’.

It might sounds complicated, but with a little research you’ll realise it’s all pretty straightforward stuff. Having said that, steer away from anything that manages to over simplify it.

As you’re the director/owner the onus will fall on you if there is anything amiss. They can (and are) prosecuting under the FSO and also corporate manslaughter legislation. One particular chain of supermarkets was fined £250,000 for a locked fire escape – even though it had the key in the door.

As far as equipment is concerned, make sure there’s a water or foam extinguisher accessible 30m from any one point, and a CO2 for all areas of electrical risk. You might need to consider dry powder for flammable liquids – get advice off a local extinguisher maintenance company (avoid the big names as they are only any good at over-charging). Keep an eye on signage, make sure all escape routes are well signed at all changes in direction. For any equipment you have (emergency lighting, alarms etc you need to keep log books of all tests – including any fire drills.

The biggest thing to sort out (and the cheapest and easiest) is policies. Make sure you have a written fire safety policy and evacuation procedure. Search for a template one on the internet – often universities and councils seem to unwittingly have them on their websites somehow. Read through it, cut out everything that’s unnecessary and get it down to 3-4 pages.

You might want to get yourself on to a fire marshal course – the local fire brigades often run competitively priced ones. It can be a fun few hours out of the office playing with fire, but that might just be my warped mind.

The other thing is – tell your insurance company you’ve done it, and even though it’s law it will often net you a discount. If you don’t have one, they may well not pay out to the full value.
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Cityfan
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of insurance companies may assume you have already done it. HSE.gov. uk have a lot of useful info, including a downloadable fire risk assessment form.
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finvik
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my office mortgage covers the premium for the insurance of my office also.. has anubody else got a scheme or package like this?
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