If you have recently reopened a business premises after a long pandemic-related shutdown, it’s essential to make sure that your fire safety system is still fit for purpose. It may have missed out on routine checks and maintenance, and staff may also be out of practice with the office fire drill procedures.
Fire risk assessment
If a full fire risk assessment has not been carried out in the past 12 months, then it’s crucial to complete one straight away. This should take into account the accessibility of evacuation routes, the additional needs of any new members of staff, and the awareness of fire exit and assembly points among all staff.
Carry out a rehearsal fire drill as per the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005, which is a legal requirement for all commercial premises, and will highlight any issues with your evacuation procedure.
Test the fire alarm
It is also a legal obligation to inspect, test, and maintain the fire alarm and smoke detectors of a building used for business purposes. This should be done weekly, during normal working hours so that staff are familiar with the sound of the fire alarm.
However, routine testing should be done at the same time each week, so if the alarm goes off at an unscheduled time, staff will know there is a genuine emergency and leave the building in the arranged manner.
Check the fire extinguishing equipment
Fire extinguishers in full working order should be placed at specific locations in order with fire safety regulations. If you have sprinkler systems or dry and wet risers, check these according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check fire prevention procedures
Fire doors should be in good working order and remain closed at all times. Electrical equipment should be regularly tested for safety. Stored flammable items and materials should be reassessed for safety measures, and to make sure they are well away from ignition sources.
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