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Fire Safety

8 Office Fire Safety Tips

Fire Exit Sign in the Workplace

Fire safety in the office is a crucial aspect of risk management, and ensuring that you have the correct precautions in place in the work environment should be taken seriously. At PARRS, we help businesses ensure that they have the appropriate fire safety equipment at their disposal. 

To help your business improve its fire safety operations, we have created a list of the top fire safety tips for the office and a checklist for you to consult current practices against. 

Table of contents 

  1. Equip your business with the right fire safety tools
  2. Carry out regular risk assessments 
  3. Keep your workspace tidy
  4. Have an evacuation plan
  5. Train your staff
  6. Appoint fire wardens 
  7. Consider electrical safety
  8. Fire Safety Checklist

1. Have the relevant fire safety equipment 

If a fire starts in your workplace, having the appropriate fire safety equipment on hand is the best way to tackle it and reduce damage. At PARRS, we have a range of fire equipment for you to add to your workspace, including fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and fire exit signs. 

The full range of fire equipment includes: 

  • Fire extinguishers – The range of fire extinguishers includes various types such as dry powder, water, foam and a range of other extinguishers. 
  • Fire blankets – Fire blankets extinguish fires by forming an airtight seal and cutting off the supply of oxygen. 
  • Fire buckets and sand – Often used to absorb small fuel spills on garage forecourts, fire buckets and sand reduce the risk of reignition and explosion. 
  • Hose Reels – Hoses for manually operated fire hoses, lengths up to 30m. 
  • Fire extinguisher storage – Store your fire safety equipment appropriately with the range of fire extinguisher storage options at PARRS.
  • Fire alarms and detection – Ensure that any fires are detected early, and your workplace is notified of the danger with the range of fire alarms and detection devices available. 
  • Emergency Exit Equipment – The selection of emergency exit equipment includes secure door closers, evacuation chairs and more. 
  • Fire safety accessories – Within the range of fire safety accessories, you will find fire safety document holders, fire marshal kits and more. 
Fire extinguisher in the workplace

2. Carry out regular risk assessments

Risk assessments allow you to identify fire hazards and assess the level of risk that is posed for employees on the premises. When completing a risk assessment, you can outline risks and potential hazards and develop solutions and actionable points. 

It is a legal requirement to complete a risk assessment for businesses with more than 5 employees. To complete a risk assessment, you should follow these 5 steps: 

  1. Identify hazards – Potential hazards that need to be considered when completing a risk assessment include natural disasters, power failure, fire safety, cyberattacks and outages. 
  2. Identify who would be harmed – Once you have identified the potential hazards, then you should consider who would be impacted if the hazard occurred. 
  3. Evaluate the risks – Developing control measures once the risks have been evaluated and making suggestions to eliminate the risks. 
  4. Note the findings – Make sure that you record the findings. Your risk assessment records should include details of hazards, risks, and the plans in place to prevent the risks from happening. 
  5. Review and update – carrying out a regular risk assessment will account for changes in the business and allow you to adapt. 

At PARRS, we have a range of risk assessment kits for you to use, which include risk assessment forms for a range of businesses, including manual handling, CoSHH risk assessment kits and display screen equipment.

Checking a fire extinguisher

3. Keep your workspace tidy

Cluttered areas within the workplace mean that the evacuation routes could be blocked and valuable time may be lost clearing the areas upon evacuation. This is why it is important to ensure that all fire exits and routes are clear from obstructions at all times. 

Having a cluttered workspace also means that the fire load of the building increases. This means that more items can catch fire and essentially fuel the fire for longer. 

Ensure that any waste or trash is disposed of efficiently and that a build up doesn’t occur. This is especially important for warehouses that deal with cardboard, as this can also fuel fire and block fire escape routes if there is a build up. 

If you store flammable materials, you should ensure that they are stored in line with COSHH regulations. At PARRS, we have a range of COSHH storage cabinets that will allow you to store dangerous substances correctly to help improve fire safety operations.  

4. Have an evacuation plan 

Everyone who steps into your premises should know the evacuation plan and route in case there is an emergency. When mapping an evacuation plan you should take into consideration the following actionable points: 

  • Mark the locations of emergency exits and routes with the relevant safety signs and notices. At PARRS, we have a range of fire action notices, fire exit signs and more for you to display.  
  • If your work premises has stairwells and corridors, it is worth illuminating fire escape routes with photoluminescent safety signs to ensure that routes are clearly signposted in a blackout. These will need to be taken into account during the process of planning your evacuation protocol. 
  • When visitors are on-site, you should familiarise them with the escape routes, if you are an employer it is worth guiding new employees around the business and showing them the evacuation routes. 
Fire exit sign

5. Train your staff

If a fire breaks out in the workplace, it is vital that your employees know what to do and how to conduct a safe evacuation. One way to ensure that all members of staff know the procedures is by introducing mandatory fire awareness training during the onboarding process.  This will ensure that all members of staff know what to do in an emergency, and not just the fire wardens. 

Staff should know the fire safety process from start to finish. This includes raising the alarm all the way up to evacuating the building. It is also important to conduct fire drills at regular points throughout the year. 

Another way to ensure that staff members reduce the risk of fires occurring is by sectioning areas of your work premises as dedicated smoking areas. Smoking areas should be situated at least 1.5 metres away from sheltering walls and structures. Make sure that your employees have a designated place to extinguish their cigarette butts. 

Smoking area notice

6. Appoint fire wardens 

Training fire wardens is also another way to ensure that your employees stay safe. Having dedicated members of staff who are trained in operating fire extinguishers and taking control of the evacuation process could help to save lives and will be vital in organising and managing evacuation drills and plans. Every workplace should have at least 1 fire warden, and employees should know which member of staff has taken responsibility. 

The fire warden should have received fire warden training and they should take the responsibility of creating fire safety protocols and ensuring that they are maintained. They should also be the person to ensure that during drills and evacuations that no one remains in the building. 

7. Consider electrical safety 

Electrical safety is particularly important for offices due to the amount of electrical equipment that is used. Electrical equipment can be a potential fire risk. Problems with overloaded plug sockets and faulty wiring can cause electrics to overheat or spark fires. These can spread quickly and be very damaging to the surrounding area. 

To ensure that electrical fires don’t occur, you should make sure that faulty electronics or equipment are disconnected and repaired by a qualified electrician before they are used again. Electrical equipment should be checked regularly and PAT tested before use. Any electric equipment that hasn’t been PAT tested should not be used. 

8. Fire safety checklist 

  • Are fire extinguishers available?
  • Are fire extinguishers checked regularly?
  • Does your premises have working fire alarms that are tested regularly?
  • Do you have a fire evacuation plan?
  • Do all of your employees know the fire evacuation plan?
  • Does your building have accessible escape routes?
  • Are your fire escape routes signposted clearly?
  • Do you have an appointed fire safety warden?
  • Do your members of staff know who the fire warden is?
  • Do you have a dedicated smoking area on your premises?
  • Is your smoking area at least 1.5 metres away from sheltered walls?
  • Is all of your electrical equipment PAT tested and checked regularly?

Fire safety equipment available at PARRS

At PARRS, our range of fire safety equipment is extensive and designed to ensure that businesses are fully covered in every aspect of fire safety. Whether you are searching for safety notices, fire fighting equipment, fire detection alarms or fire safety log books – we have everything you could need. 

Ensure that you improve your fire safety procedure and reduce risk to life and minimise damage to property in your commercial setting today and introduce fire safety equipment from PARRS.