Key Steps to Fire Safety for Business Owners

One of the toughest things you face as a business owner is the responsibility you have for the safety of others. Government legislation says you have to take every possible step to ensure the safety of your workforce, clientele and anyone else who walks through your door or buys your services.

Fire safety is right at the top of the list for any business with a physical location. Which means unless you have an entirely online setup, you have a lot to do before you can employ staff and welcome customers through the door.

Spot your hazards

The first thing you need to do as a business owner is determine the risks you pose to people. Both customers and employees will be subject to a broad range of dangers, depending on your business-and it's your responsibility to minimise these.

Which starts with a risk assessment and one of the key parts to this for any business is spotting potential fire risks. This is something you must assess on a year-long basis, as risks come and go throughout the year. Christmas is a good example of when new hazards come up, with Christmas trees, lights and a number of other fire dangers brought by the festive period.

Weather changes, new staff and a range of other factors mean you need to spot hazards, assess the risks and devise a suitable solution for every time of the year.

Everyone needs to know fire safety

No matter how stringent your risk assessment and countermeasures are, they don't add up to much unless everyone knows how to prevent and deal with fire risks.

First of all your staff needs to know how to spot potential dangers and remove any risks, if they can safely do so. They also need to know when potential dangers are too much for them to deal with and when to raise the alarm. Different types of fire, potential risks and action plans are all essential knowledge for your workers-as well as exit, extinguisher and meet locations.

Don't scrimp on the fire alarm

Fire alarms save lives and this is one piece of equipment you don't want to compromise on. The cheapest system is not always the best option and it's a good idea to talk to specialists so you can discuss exactly what kind of setup your business needs.

It's not just a case of choosing the right alarm for the workplace either. You need to regularly test and calibrate your alarm to make sure everything is in working order-or risk fines and potentially much worse. So get in touch with a specialist in fire alarm system installations so you can choose the best system and make sure it's looked after properly.

Don't forget about your guests

We've already mentioned the importance of staff training when it comes to fire safety-but you also need to ensure any guests know what to do in the event of a fire. Whether it's a steady flow of customers or the occasional business meeting, anyone who comes through your doors needs the necessary know-how, should anything go wrong.

Once again, it's up to you to decide how this process works. As part of your risk assessment you have to determine what information your guests need and how to deliver it. Signs are a minimum requirement for fire exits and extinguishers, but you may decide additional steps are needed to reduce fire risks. It's your responsibility to take action if this is the case and the steps you take now could save lives as well as costly damages.

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