Don't let fire incinerate your business
08 Dec 2020

Don’t let fire incinerate your business

Fire can close your business (for good)

In Scotland around 50 people are killed each year by fire, and over 2000 are seriously injured by fumes or burns. And businesses which experience a serious fire rarely survive.

Legal obligations

As an employer, you have a legal requirement to reduce the risk of fire, by carrying out a fire risk assessment, training your employees and keeping your fire assessments up to date.

The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 calls for regular fire assessments to be carried out in the workplace. Firstly, fire hazards need to be identified, as well as the potential people at risk – including visitors. Employers are then required to evaluate, remove or reduce the fire risk. Up to date records must be kept, and a fire assessment plan put in place.

The employer is also responsible for making sure employers are trained in safe working practices, and where there are more than five employees, a record should be kept of the fire risk assessment. Online risk assessment plans can be made available to all employees, as well as a written fire emergency action plan.

Where are the main risks

It is not always easy to recognise fire hazards. At home, cooking is arguably the biggest risk, but what about at work? Surprisingly waste materials are one of the biggest hazards – piles of boxes in a corner, paper left around photocopiers, overloaded shredding machines. If ignited, paper and cardboard will spread fire easily. Electric heaters can also big risk in the workplace. A chilly employee who leaves a heater unattended, unstable or close to combustible materials could more than wreck your business.

Faulty electrical equipment is the most common cause of workplace fires. Overloading sockets, poor wiring, old and broken equipment can all lead to sparks that can be devastating if near furnishings or other combustible materials. For this reason, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is essential.

Whilst machinery faults can cause fires, the most dangerous item in the workplace is no doubt the human. Inadequate housekeeping, forgetfulness and smoking among other activities can lead to fire. Poorly trained employees can block ventilation, spill flammable liquids or improperly use machinery. Unfortunately, working in a hurry, and ignoring correct procedures can be a major health and safety risk.

Stay safe and compliant

Safetynet has extensive experience of conducting fire risk assessments in businesses of all sizes large or small, every non-domestic property in the UK should have an assessment of their fire risks carried out. Our experts will carry out an audit and identify where issues may lie, then work with you to produce a succinct and easy to use fire action plan.

Keep your employees and your business free from fire by calling us now on 01224 900540.