Fire Prevention & Safety Tips for Offices
Fire presents a serious risk to buildings of all shapes and sizes. Data from the UK government indicates that more than 153,000 fires were attended by fire and rescue services in England for 2019/20, resulting in 243 fire-related fatalities.
It’s therefore crucial that building owners are minimising the risk of fire. As a business owner or office manager, your priority is the safety of your staff and visitors to your office.
In this guide from the CPFP team we’ve listed and explained some of our top fire prevention and safety tips that offices of all sizes should consider implementing.
Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment
A fire risk assessment is a legal requirement. You are responsible for fire safety in business or other non-domestic premises if you’re an employer, the owner, the landlord, an occupier or anyone else with control of the premises, and it is your duty to ensure a fire risk assessment is completed by a competent person.
The assessment needs to identify the fire hazards, identify people at risk and evaluate/remove/reduce the risks. All findings should be recorded, an emergency plan should be prepared, and training should be provided to staff.
It’s also important to regularly review and update your assessment to make sure it is kept up to date.
Incorporate Passive Fire Protection
The purpose of passive fire protection (PFP) is to prevent the spread of fire and smoke by containing it in a single compartment, thus reducing the physical effects it can have on a building. Built into the structure of a building, it is crucial to saving lives, minimising damage in the workplace and providing safe exit routes.
Examples of PFP include:
- Cavity barriers – segregates void spaces within walls, above ceilings and below suspended floors.
- Penetration sealing – seals cavities created by cables, ventilation and piping.
- Fire compounding – a fire protective property that is used as a substitute when a concrete slab has penetrations passing through it, such as wires and pipework.
See more: Why is Passive Fire Protection Important?
A neat and tidy office helps to prevent fires from developing. A few housekeeping rules for offices to follow:
- Frequently check all electrical equipment for damage.
- Keep flammable materials away from sources of heat.
- Keep fire exits and firefighting equipment clear of rubbish.
- Avoid overloading extension cables.
- Replace any cords with frayed wiring.
- Empty all bins regularly, making sure they do not build-up with flammable materials.
Install Fire Doors
Made from materials like metal, timber, gypsum and glass, fire doors are specially manufactured doors designed specifically to withstand fire. Similar to PFP measures, they help to compartmentalise buildings and delay the spread of fire from one room to another, enabling occupants to exit safely and the emergency services to tackle the fire.
See more: Fire Doors Explained – An Overview of Fire Doors
Test Fire Alarms Regularly
Fire detection alarms in your office are of no use if they’re not working correctly, so be sure to get into a habit of checking and testing them every month. Make sure every alarm is tested, ensuring that it is performing correctly and can be heard throughout your office.
Have Fire Extinguishers Available
Having fire extinguishers in your office will help you to contain small fires before they spread and become more serious. However, it’s important to note that extinguishers are available in different types with each one having specific classes that they are suitable for use on. Carbon dioxide (class B) fire extinguishers will most probably be the appropriate type for offices as these can be used on electrical fires.
Have Safe Smoking Areas
If your office doesn’t have a dedicated smoking area, ask your staff to head well away from the building when on a cigarette break. There should also be a safe place to dispose of cigarettes safely – extra care should be taken when discarding smoking materials as they could easily set light to nearby flammable materials like leaves, papers or other items in rubbish bins.
Get Started with CPFP
If you’re looking for a trusted and professional team of fire prevention specialists to help protect your office from fire, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at CPFP today. We’re third-party accredited in passive fire protection with IFCC, demonstrating that the passive fire protection services we provide to properties across the UK are of the highest quality.
To find out more about passive fire protection and how it can help with fire safety at your office, contact CPFP today.
See more: IFCC Accreditation & Passive Fire Protection – All You Need to Know About IFCC & Passive Fire Protection
See more: Passive Fire Protection Products & Materials