16 October 2019

Here's Why Fire Safety Needs to Be a Top Priority in Your Workplace

Although summer has come and gone, there are still some burning-hot risks hiding in your workplace. Indeed, regardless of the temperature outside, an on-site fire could wreak havoc within your organisation at any time. What’s more, recent government statistics revealed that there has been an increase in fire-related incidents across the UK this past year. 

And the ramifications of a workplace fire can be severe—including employee injuries and fatalities, halted business operations, destroyed property and hefty regulatory fines. In fact, organisations throughout the UK have received fines totalling over £1 million for committing health and safety breaches that led to a workplace fire in the last 12 months. 

Especially after seeing the impacts of the Grenfell tragedy, it’s crucial now more than ever that your organisation makes fire safety a priority. After all, preventing on-site fires can keep you from getting burnt by costly consequences.

Consider this fire safety guidance:

  • Conduct a fire risk assessment - You are required by law to conduct a written fire risk assessment if your organisation has more than five people. In this assessment, you should record all potential fire hazards on-site, identify the people at risk of being harmed by a fire and implement robust controls to mitigate fire-related risks. Review and update this assessment regularly.
  • Enforce policies and procedures - After assessing workplace fire risks, it's important that you enforce policies and procedures on-site that promote fire safety. This includes requiring routine staff training, implementing an effective fire detection system, having proper firefighting equipment on-site and storing potentially flammable materials or substances in safe locations.
  • Have an emergency fire evacuation plan - In the event of a fire, it's crucial to develop and communicate an emergency fire evacuation plan in your workplace. Your plan should identify all escape routes on-site and establish a safe meeting point for staff. Be sure to clearly mark escape routes and display signage of the evacuation plan on-site.
  • Secure proper cover - More than anything, you need robust insurance to protect against the risk of a workplace fire.

    Contains public sector information published by the HSE and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
    © 2019 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. This publication is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as compliance or legal advice. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.