Prevention is better than cure in most aspects of our lives and none more so than when it comes to fire safety. Fire prevention is something we should all be aware of and actively ensure preventive measures are in place wherever we are – be that at work, at home or rented accommodation.
Fire safety is the responsibility of all employers, building owners, landlords, occupiers and anyone else with control of premises such as facilities managers or agents. It is up to each of these individuals to ensure significant prevention and mitigation measures are in place to reduce the risk of fire starting or in the event that a fire does break out, ensure it is contained and everyone can leave the building quickly and safely.
A Fire Risk Assessment process is the only way to ensure these preventive measures are in place. Following the initial assessment and any findings, a regular review process should take place to ensure the measures remain adequate and fit for purpose over time. Formal processes and procedures are necessary but so too is vigilance and common sense of individuals. For example, don’t block fire exits and if you do see one that is blocked, don’t walk on by and ignore it. Remove the obstruction or if that’s not possible, report it straight away.
Regular risk assessment reviews ensure fire procedures and escape plans remain up to date and that everyone in the building is aware of them – this should include fire escape drills to ensure everyone can hear the alert to a fire and can get out of the building swiftly and safely. Fire safety checks, risk assessments and escape drills shouldn’t feel like a chore or a tick box exercise, they should be an active and ongoing process that everyone in the building participates in.
The devastation that could be caused by not having a robust fire safety risk assessment process in place doesn’t even bare thinking about. So think about it – are your fire safety policies and procedures up to date?
Take a look around – be aware of your surroundings and know your escape route plans, be aware and alert every day. In short – make fire safety part of your daily routine.
When it comes to fire safety – leave nothing to chance or until it’s too late.