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Why Your Business Needs Precautionary Measures To Deal With Fire

Apr 10, 2008
Regulations are now in abundance concerned with fire safety and efficient training procedures to ensure the wellbeing of staff members in the event of fire. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into effect around two years ago and ensures that those who own and run a business must put in place efficient fire safety procedures and make provisions for effective training schemes for members of staff.

One of the regulations involves extensive fire risk assessments being carried out regularly. This means that at least one member of staff must have had suitable training so they can undertake these assessments. Part of the assessment process must include putting in place procedures that prevent the occurrence of fire in a workplace.

These assessments are usually regulated by the local fire and rescue services are they are the experts who have had sufficient training to evaluate any assessment. With a wealth of knowledge, it is these professionals who are in the perfect position to efficiently advise business owners on ways to reduce the risks of fire and contain potential hazards that may lead to a blaze.

Another thing business owners can do to implement the regulations is to ensure a suitable number of staff members have had training in reactions to a fire. This is especially true in the retail industry where fire marshals that have had full training must always be present. For instance; in a supermarket there are always a number of marshals on duty to ensure that customers and staff alike are evacuated if a fire does occur.

Training is essential to ensuring that fire precautions are adequately met and action plans are suitably followed at all times. With today's high tech fire detection systems it is easy to be complacent with safety precautions. It is still important to retain a human detection method that has had enough training to understand what should be done in the event of fire and ensure no one is injured.

As well as marshals who have had extensive training, all other members of staff should at least have some form of informal training to cope with fire. Most people understand that the fire service should be called as soon as a blaze breaks out but making sure your staff can put in place good housekeeping methods to reduce risks is essential.

Fire occurs when fuel is combined with a spark. It is important to train staff so that they understand this principle and recognise the importance of keeping flammable materials and potential ignition sources separate from each other. If they do not, bad practice can lead to increased risk and a higher chance of an inferno ravishing your business.

Fundamentally as a business owner your premises and the materials inside that premises is your investment. Hence it is your responsibility to ensure that risks are kept to a minimum. It is believed that as many as two thirds of businesses who experience fire fail to recover. Insurance policies may cover the stock and premises but the losses are more finite; losing contacts is a major part of this but losing operating time and failing to deliver on orders and promises can have an extremely detrimental effect. You must think if your business is out of action for a period of two or three months, will your clients be loyal enough not to turn to a competitor?

Evidently fire training and safety procedures are vital part of running a business. With regulatory compliance being a major part of this all business owners must recognise their responsibilities and perform the tasks entrusted to them. Not only will your business suffer form the effects of a blaze, it may never recover; hence precaution is ultimately important to ensuring the survival of your business.
About the Author
Health and safety expert Thomas Pretty looks at the importance of efficient fire training in commerce and how a blaze can completely wreck a business.
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