There are no shortcuts to an effective fire risk assessment: you might think you can save time and money by doing it yourself, basing it on information you’ve looked up online, but how sure can you be that you won’t have missed something?
With a fire risk assessment. you must be sure. It is the fire safety cornerstone, the fundamental foundation for it. This means it is not just about compliance, but being sure about your fire safety.
Alarms, Signs and Exits
A competent, qualified fire risk assessor will spot where things have been missed, or fire risk issues not properly understood.
One example is fire alarms. If an alarm system has warning lights lit up on its panel it means there is a fault. Too often these warning lights are ignored. There are even cases where there is no fire alarm.
Another issue is with fire safety signs. Directional signs are critical for safe evacuation of a building in the event of fire. Arrows must point the right way towards an exit. Too often they don’t, or they are not clear about the direction they are pointing in.
The final point of exit is vital. The directional signs should lead you here, but once you’ve arrived, you must be able to safely exit the building and reach your designated assembly point. This door must be clearly identified, and anyone using is should be able to open it with one action.
Barriers, Doors and Extinguishers
Buildings should have fire compartments to contain fire should it occur. This means ensuring that when fire doors are shut, they help protect the building from the spread of fire.
Fire doors should never, therefore, be propped open for convenience.
Similarly, if there is anything causing a breach to a fire barrier, such as cabling, then this must be put right, otherwise you run the risk of not being able to effectively contain a fire.
A thorough, professional fire risk assessment will spot any problem areas such as use of materials likely to cause toxic fumes, or holes in compartment barriers filled with flammable foam.
Don’t neglect fire extinguishers. These must be in good working order at all times and of an effective design. If you cut corners with the fire extinguishers you choose, you are running a risk.
A fire risk assessment will ensure that fire extinguishers are fit for purpose and safe to use – highly pressurised CO2 extinguishers can be dangerous if not fitted without a horn diffuser.
Third Party Accreditation
Choose a fire risk assessment with proper, third party accreditation. This will give you the right level of professional assurance about the fire safety in your building.
Contact Comply At Work for more details. When it comes to fire risk assessment, don’t cut corners, or you might count the cost.