Your New Year checklist for commercial fire safety

16 January 2023

The start of a new year is a great time for businesses to review their fire safety protocols and ensure that they are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. By taking the following steps, you can ensure that your facilities are safe for employees and customers, and minimise the risk of fire-related accidents and damage.

Here’s a quick overview of your New Year checklist for commercial fire safety…

1. Review fire safety policies and procedures

The first step in ensuring compliance with fire safety regulations is to review your company’s current policies and procedures. Look for areas that may need to be updated, such as evacuation plans or the locations of fire extinguishers. Make sure that all employees are familiar with these policies and know what to do in the event of a fire.

2. Conduct a fire safety audit

A fire safety audit can help identify potential hazards and areas of non-compliance in your facility. This can include things like blocked exits, poorly maintained electrical systems, and lack of proper fire extinguishers. It is important that all areas of your facility are included in the audit such as common areas, offices, storage areas and other ancillary areas. The New Year is the perfect time to conduct a fire risk assessment especially if you have new employees starting.

3. Update emergency response plans

In case of fire it is important to have a plan of action for all employees to follow. Make sure that your emergency response plans are up-to-date and that all employees know what to do in the event of a fire, including how to evacuate the building safely. Make sure all exit signs are clearly marked and illuminated, practice fire drills to check readiness.

4. Inspect and maintain fire protection systems

It is important to regularly inspect and maintain fire protection systems such as sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers to ensure that they are in good working condition. Schedule regular maintenance and make sure to document all inspection and maintenance activities.

5. Train/re-train employees

Regular fire safety training should be provided to all employees, to ensure they are aware of the potential risks and know what to do in the event of a fire. Make sure that all new employees receive fire safety training as part of their orientation.

6. Review insurance coverage

Make sure that your business has adequate insurance coverage in case of a fire. Review your policy to ensure that it covers not only damage to your building and equipment, but also any business interruption that may occur as a result of a fire. Some policies renew at the start of the year so it’s important to be aware of your policy and what it covers.

7. Familiarise yourself with fire safety regulations

As a business owner it’s your legal obligation to remain compliant and so it’s important to ensure you’re aware of the most up to date fire safety regulations. If not, you could find yourself following out of date regulations which can leave you open to legal ramifications. For example, new fire safety regulations will come into effect in January 2023 relating to buildings that contain more than one residence.

By taking these steps, businesses can ensure that they are in compliance with fire safety regulations and minimise the risk of fire-related accidents and damage. Regular review and updating of these steps is important to keep your business safe.

For help ensuring your fire risk assessments are thorough and fully compliant and for ongoing fire safety consultancy, contact us at Total Fire Group. We work with companies across a range of sectors including housing associations, care homes, warehouses & factories and hotels & sleeping accommodations

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