Posted March 14, 2022 | Eclipse IP

Fire Safety in the Workplace

Fire Safety in the Workplace

Fire safety in the workplace is paramount for business owners and employers. Landlords and employers have a duty of care to ensure their property or workplace is in accordance with up-to-date safety laws. 

Section 19 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (the 2005 Act) outlines employers must identify potential hazards, assess risks and have a written risk assessment of their workplace in place. To properly follow this law, employers must have a Fire Safety Risk Assessment conducted in their workplace.  

To help guide business owners and employers on the best practices to follow when it comes to fire safety in the workplace, Eclipse (IP) has put together this comprehensive article on managing fire safety in the workplace. 

 

 

Do businesses need a fire safety risk assessment? 

If you meet any of the following criteria, it’s essential that your workplace meets the necessary fire safety laws: 

  • You have five or more employees 
  • Your premises requires a license  
  • You have been issued an Alternations Notice by the Fire Service.  

The only reason for not having a Fire Safety Risk Assessment in place would be If you only have four or fewer employees and your fire safety officer feels confident they can: 

  • Quickly identify the source of a fire from any location in the office 
  • Identify all the people at risk 
  • Develop a fire safety plan  
  • Assess fire safety measures including alarms and escape routes  
  • Assess fire safety management including training and drills  
  • Record and document all fire safety findings  
  • Keep up-to-date with the fire safety assessment in the office 

Even if you feel your workplace is equipped to handle its own fire safety management, please do still consider having a fire risk assessment in place. Failure to have an adequate fire safety risk assessment and the proper fire safety precautions in place could result in prosecution, large fines and possibly even prison (in extreme cases).  

Luckily, Eclipse (IP) is on hand to provide you with an industry expert to carry out a full fire risk assessment of your property and create an effective action plan for any changes that need to be made.  

  fire exit fire safety in the workplace

 

Why fire safety is important in the workplace 

To ensure staff and employees are properly cared for, it’s critical that business owners take the proper actions in regard to fire safety management in the workplace. 

Based on government figures, it’s estimated that over half of non-domestic fires happen in the workplace, so even if you have the attitude of “It will never happen here” it’s essential to have the proper procedures in place just in case the worst does happen.  

Although some businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will be at higher risk of fire than others, fire legislation requires all types of buildings and premises, including: 

  • Restaurants and bars 
  • Pubs and clubs 
  • Care providers  
  • Schools  
  • Hotels  
  • Factories and warehouses 
  • Community buildings  
  • Office buildings  
  • Public buildings such as gyms, studios etc 

Eclipse (IP) offers a robust fire suppression service to identify any potential hazards before they get a chance to develop. Contact us today to find out more.  

 

Fire alarms  

One of the best and most important steps to take to give your property adequate fire safety protection is to install a reliable fire alarm system. There are different types of fire alarm systems that suit the size of the premises.  

The two main types of commercial fire alarm systems are:  

  • Conventional Fire Alarms – best suited to smaller sized businesses and properties, conventional fire alarms are less precise with their detection, signalling a fire only in the floor or zone that the alarm is linked to.  

  • Addressable Fire Alarms – Can pinpoint the exact starting point of the fire instead of just the zone or floor. This makes addressable fire alarms better suited to large businesses which span across several floors, or to businesses that are at higher risk of fires, such as restaurants.  

 

Are fire alarms mandatory in Scotland? 

In Scotland, almost all premises require a fire alarm system. 

The only reason for not having a fire alarm system installed would be if your premise is small enough so that a fire would be immediately obvious to everyone if it were to break out, or obvious upon a shout of “Fire!”. There must also be fewer than five employees on the premises at any time.  

Other than this, fire alarms are mandatory in Scotland for all types of businesses. This means:  

  • Your building will need an automatic or manual fire alarm system 
  • Upon activation, the alarm sound must be clear for everyone in the building to hear 
  • Every exit must have an alarm call point close by 
  • Fire alarms must be tested weekly  
  • Fire alarms must be serviced every six months 
  • All testing, maintenance and installation work must be carried out by a certified fire alarm engineer.  

To ensure your fire alarm system is installed and maintained properly, why not contact Eclipse (IP) for a full fire alarm service. We’d be happy to advise you on the best system for your business's needs.  

fire extinguisher service from Eclipse

 

Fire extinguishers  

Another key component of fire safety and having proper fire risk assessment is obtaining functioning, reliable fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers should be located in convenient areas throughout your property and all staff should be aware of the nearest fire extinguisher to them.  

To ensure your business is in accordance with the relevant fire safety laws, your fire extinguishers must: 

  • Be the correct type for your type of business 
  • Be properly and regularly maintained (by your fire risk assessor)  
  • Undergo an annual maintenance test  
  • Consist of at least two Class A extinguishers for each storey of the building  
  • Consist of at least two 2kg CO2 extinguishers for premises with electrical equipment in use 

emergency lighting exit sign

 

Emergency lighting  

To make sure safe movement and evacuation can be carried out in the event of a fire, emergency lighting is necessary. Emergency lighting can of course come in use for more than just fire emergencies, but it is part of the essential criteria for passing your fire safety risk assessment.  

Emergency lighting is essential for properties with any dark areas, such as kitchens, basements or lofts, and is necessary for any building consisting of more than 60 square meters.  

The main use of emergency lighting is to: 

  • Highlight safety exits and routes of escape  
  • Provide “panic” lighting so communal areas stay lit during a fire or loss of power  
  • Provide high-risk area lighting to help shut down dangerous activities in an emergency 
  • Help all staff and personnel exit the building in a safe, orderly manner.  

Eclipse (IP) can assess and install a full emergency lighting system on your property if needed. 

 

Get in touch 

Eclipse (IP) are experts in providing fire safety and proper fire control for any type of large building or property.  

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team. We’d be more than happy to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.  

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