Fire Safety Services (UK) Ltd work on the principle of offering high quality service and products to its customers, irrespective of size, location and number of premises, because fire is indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any time.
Most of us will be aware of events involving fire, some may have experienced it personally, but in generally it is something that happens to somebody else.
When a fire breaks out the fast and trained response from those immediately involved can make such a difference, operating the fire alarm, summoning the fire brigade and, if safe to do so, tackling the fire using a fire extinguisher to prevent it growing and having a devastating effect on the business and putting life and property at risk.
The true cost of fire protection measures, equipment and maintenance will only become apparent in the event of a fire situation. You need to be sure the fire detection and alarm system will function correctly to warn you in the early stages of a fire, you and your staff are trained and competent to raise the alarm if the system is not automatic, call the fire brigade and tackle the fire if it is safe to do so.
When you have had a Fire Risk Assessment carried out it must be suitable and sufficient; this will help you reduce the potential for a fire occurring dramatically. It will give you the guidance to put in place the training, plans, measures, equipment and maintenance needed to ensure your business is compliant, protected and less likely to suffer the devastating effects of a fire.
The savings are mostly never realised when you take fire safety seriously, because the saving is made when you don’t have to deal with the aftermath of a fire and its devastating effects.
Below we have compiled our top 10 fire safety tips for retailers:
- Stock rooms – Remove any empty boxes and other combustible items and ensure stock is not stacked too close to heat sources such as lighting or heaters.
- Escape Routes – These can become temporarily blocked during deliveries. Once the delivery is finished clear the exit routes and move stock to the appropriate area/room.
- Electrical intake cupboards – These are not a store cupboard! Regular checks should be made to ensure they are kept clear and locked shut.
- Final fire exits – Check every day that the doors can open freely and any obstructions removed – a fire exit keep clear sign should be displayed on the outer face of the door.
- Automatic detection / sprinkler heads – Avoid storing stock too close to these as they will not work as designed. A minimum space of 45cm /18 inches should exist between the top box and the head for the system to work effectively.
- Maintain and test – A regime of periodic testing and maintenance is essential. To create a good safety culture, regular tests of the fire safety systems and equipment should be implemented and recorded.
- Fire Drills – Ensure all staff (including temporary and seasonal staff) are fully aware of the fire evacuation plan and that they are involved in at least one fire drill per year.
- Toasters – Where toasters are used make sure they are regularly cleaned out of crumbs and are kept away from notice boards and other paperwork. Whilst in use they should not be left unattended.
- Retailers dream – A crowded sales area! If customers are struggling to use the space and are queuing to use the stairs you probably have too many people in the store to safely evacuate. Customer safety is your responsibility whilst they are in your building so good fire safety management is paramount.
- Fire Extinguishers – Ensure these are securely fitted to the walls. Where they are fitted to plasterboard walls they can easily work loose and could fall off and hurt someone. If they are loose they should be refitted with a backboard or placed in a floor stand.
Fire Safety Services (UK) Ltd is a preferred supplier of bira, offering preferential rates for all bira members.
Fire Safety Compliance Manager
Andrew is a professional life safety commercial fire risk assessor with 30 years’ experience. He is responsible for client fire risk assessments, fire safety training, consultancy and legal compliance.
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