When people share whispered horror stories about offices burning down, inevitably with some poor entrepreneur’s life’s work going up in flames, it’s easy to shrug your shoulders.
Fire safety is a legal obligation so, of course, you already tick the necessary boxes to meet regulations.
But what are the chances of a fire tearing through your business?
After all, devastating blazes are nothing more than the over-dramatic stuff of soap operas and paranoid nightmares, right?
And yet, the modern office is surprisingly full of hazards.
Look around at all that computer tech and those overloaded sockets – that crucial electrical equipment you couldn’t operate without is also the biggest cause of workplaces fires.
With that sobering thought in mind, we’re sharing three top tips to help you adopt a fire-safety culture and protect your business in 2017.
#1: get a fire safety plan in order
As with everything in life, organisation is essential for fire safety – it’s great news if you’re naturally a methodical thinker with a penchant for spreadsheet and itineraries, but a nightmare if you’re more of a last-minute Larry.
It may not be fun, but thinking through worst-case scenarios is the only way you’ll be able to put a plan in place to deal with them.
Focus on gathering information about emergency exits, meeting points and warning systems – if you’re struggling, your local council should be able to send out a fire safety officer to offer some advice on the best tactics and plans to adopt.
#2: emphasise the importance of prevention
Prevention is a much better tactic than dealing with the fallout of a blaze, so undergo a risk assessment to identify any potential hazards or weak spots, like sources of electrical fires.
Whilst regular Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) will keep your electrical equipment in good shape – reducing the chances of devastating malfunctions – also talk to staff about the importance of switching off unused computers and sockets.
Even after you’ve implemented such changes, doing routine safety checks and inspections yourself will continue to highlight any likely issues, whilst also being mindful to make sure everyone is remembering their training.
#3: invest in protective measures
Should the absolute worst happen, you won’t be worried about money or the building. Instead, your biggest concern will be guaranteeing that no one – you, your employees or customers – comes to any harm.
Invest in protective measures, like a blast wall or fire doors, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing everyone will be kept safe until the emergency services arrive.
But your most important task is to install and maintain an alarm system that’ll give as much forewarning as possible.
With so much on your plate, it’s easy to get complacent about hazards – make sure your business doesn’t fall victim to a devastating blaze by following our three top fire-safety tips.