Complete Fire Safety Management News
Posted: 15/11/2012 11:55
To safeguard employees, to protect premises and contents, to ensure continuity of the business and comply with legal obligations, it is essential that a Fire Safety Policy is drawn up and fully implemented.
The policy must detail the agreed procedures for responding to an outbreak of fire or actuation of the fire alarm. It should detail the responsibilities of managers and others with specific responsibilities (such as fire wardens or marshals) and describe the fire safety features of the premises and procedures for regular testing and maintenance.
The policy manual should incorporate plan drawings of the premises, detailing the means of escape, assembly point(s) and fire precautions. This could be a simple drawing of the premises to accompany the Fire Risk Assessment.
Like all aspects of the policy and procedures, this plan must be kept up-to-date. The procedures must be disseminated to all staff at all levels, with a simplified summary of the evacuation procedure encapsulated in the Fire Action Notice.
Posted: 29/10/2012 17:04
Many of the structural elements of a building are designed to provide, or benefit from, a particular standard of fire resistance. This will usually be specified at the planning stage, or at the time of subsequent alterations.
To protect means of escape, the normal specification is 30 minutes (for example in walls, doors and glazing forming a protected corridor or stairway) though in some cases this is increased to 60 minutes or even higher, depending on the location and use.
The comparatively safe areas created by this method are known as 'compartments', being separated from all other parts of the building in a way that will limit the spread of fire and smoke throughout the building. This will allow time for the occupants to escape and assist the fire brigade in fighting the fire safely and effectively.
For day to day fire safety, the important thing is to ensure that the fire resisting construction is not neglected, rendered useless by unauthorized alterations, or breached by new pipe work, ducting or other services without being...
Posted: 26/10/2012 14:20
Know the location of all fire exit doors, and how to open them in an emergency. These are the external doors allowing people to escape to open air.
Depending on their location, they may be fitted with one of a variety of opening mechanisms, including panic bolts, push pads, thumb-turns and security devices. However, their operation (in the direction of escape) must not depend on the use of a swipe card, security code or removable key.
Fire exits will usually be clearly marked as such (by a sign incorporating the 'running man' symbol), except for any door that forms the normal means of entering and leaving the building.
Posted: 17/10/2012 10:21
Be clear which doors are fire doors, as these need to be kept shut, unless they are fitted with automatic self-closing devices linked to the fire alarm system.
Most fire doors are fitted with a simple self closing device, and any glazing incorporated will be fire resisting. Fire doors should always have smoke seals fitted along their top and side edges.
In most places of work fire doors will be labelled 'Fire Door - Keep Shut' . However fire doors leading to cupboards, storerooms or plant rooms are usually kept locked, and should be labelled with a sign to this effect.
Fire doors are important because they hold back fire and smoke, and are designed to protect means of escape such as corridors and stairways. They also prevent fire spreading rapidly from one area to another.
People should be actively discouraged from wedging or propping open fire doors. Always make sure they are closed when work ceases, and before locking up the premises. Self closers may need adjusting from time to time, if...
Posted: 15/10/2012 15:04
Get to know exactly what fire extinguishers and other fire fighting equipment you have on the premises, and what kinds of fire they can safely be used on. Lift extinguishers off the wall occasionally to get the feel of them, but be prepared for the weight of the larger ones. Extinguishers should be fitted with both a safety pin and an anti-tamper seal - if the seal is found to be broken it must be reported immediately.
Hose reels are provided in some buildings to supplement (or occasionally to take the place of) fire extinguishers. However, injury or damage can easily be caused by incorrect use of hose reels, and common advice nowadays is to leave these for the fire brigades use only.
As well as portable equipment, there may be sprinklers or other suppression systems (gaseous, powder or water mist) protecting the whole of your premises, or perhaps certain areas such as a computer suite or cooking range. People whose safety, or whose response to an outbreak of fire, depends on the...