Fire safety for commercial premises during the cost of living crisis

27 April 2023

As the cost of living crisis continues to impact businesses across the country, many are seeking ways to reduce expenses. However, it’s crucial to avoid compromising on fire safety while adapting to the economic challenges.

This article will outline key considerations for businesses as they make changes to minimise costs while maintaining the highest level of fire safety.

Understanding the Importance of a Fire Risk Assessment

The foundation of any fire safety strategy is a comprehensive fire risk assessment. Fire risk assessments are crucial for the protection of people and property in any commercial premises. 

This essential process is designed to identify potential hazards, assess the adequacy of existing fire safety measures, and develop a plan to reduce the risk of fire. These assessments not only promote safety but also help businesses comply with fire safety legislation.

The importance of fire risk assessments for commercial premises

Commercial premises demand a strong focus on fire safety, making fire risk assessments essential. This process helps protect employees, customers, and property from fire-related incidents. With unique characteristics like size, layout, materials, and occupancy levels, each commercial space requires a tailored approach. Regular reassessments are vital, as changes in occupancy or usage can impact fire safety.

By prioritising fire risk assessments, businesses maintain a safe environment and protect their reputation, assets, and lives.

Potential Fire Safety Risks in Cost-Saving Measures

Businesses might consider various cost-saving measures such as the examples listed below. While these initiatives might help reduce costs, they can also inadvertently create fire safety risks:

  1. Reduced staff numbers: A smaller workforce may result in fewer employees responsible for fire safety duties. These include conducting regular checks, managing fire safety equipment, and coordinating evacuations. Ensure that any remaining staff members are adequately trained and aware of their fire safety responsibilities.
  2. Changing work schedules: Altering work hours or implementing shift patterns could affect the availability of fire safety personnel. Make sure you have designated fire safety personnel available at all times to respond to emergencies.
  3. Modifying premises: Changes to the layout or usage of your commercial space may introduce new fire hazards or affect the efficacy of existing fire safety measures. Update your fire risk assessment to reflect any alterations and implement appropriate safety measures.

Tips for Maintaining Fire Safety on a Budget

While it is essential not to compromise fire safety, there are several cost-effective measures businesses can take to protect their premises and employees:

  1. Regularly review and update your fire risk assessment: Ensuring that your fire risk assessment is up-to-date will help identify potential hazards and implement cost-effective solutions to mitigate them.
  2. Train employees in fire safety: Regular fire safety training is crucial in maintaining a safe working environment. This can be done in-house or through affordable online courses. Empowering employees with fire safety knowledge can help prevent incidents while reducing the cost of damage and downtime.
  3. Maintain fire safety equipment: Regular maintenance of fire safety equipment, such as extinguishers, alarms, and emergency lighting, can help prevent costly repairs or replacements in the long run. Establish a maintenance schedule to ensure equipment is always in good working order.
  4. Implement fire risk management software: Utilise Total Fire Group’s Aurora software to streamline fire risk assessments, track compliance, and efficiently manage fire safety tasks, saving time and resources.
  5. Seek professional advice: Consult with fire safety experts to identify cost-effective solutions tailored to your business’s specific needs. Total Fire Group offers a range of services, including fire risk assessments and fire safety training, to help businesses stay compliant and safe.

If you’d like advice or guidance when it comes to fire safety in commercial premises, don’t hesitate to contact our fire safety consultants on 01204 697 990. 

SERVICES

We offer our clients a complete fire safety management service, our key services include:

Fire Risk Assessments

Delivering a comprehensive and detailed report on your property.

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Fire Safety Consultancy

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Fire Risk Management Software

Manage multiple risk assessment actions with our Aurora software.

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Fire Safety Training

Our fire safety training courses cover every level of fire safety, from basic through to advanced.

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