As fire and security alarm specialists with experience of carrying out the installation and maintenance of fire alarm systems within small and large office complexes, Tecserv UK offers its top ten tips for fire safety in offices.
These tips are aimed at staff who work in offices:
- Fire Procedures: Talk to your fire wardens and the person responsible for fire safety and and understand what you need to know about your office fire drill. Help them by getting to know the basics of what is involved in the fire risk assessment for your office so that you can keep your work area fire safety compliant. Talk to your colleagues about fire safety and don’t be afraid to ask them to make changes if their actions are compromising fire safety.
- Bring your own device: Many of us bring our own mobile phone and charger to work. Ensure the charger is PAT tested and never leave your desk without removing it from the mains socket.
- All present: Ensure you comply with the procedure to check in and out of your workplace so that should a fire break out everyone who is in the building can be accounted for. If you are hosting visitors, make sure they are given a short fire safety briefing as part of your welcome procedure.
- Fire equipment: The person or persons responsible for fire safety should ensure your fire alarm system, smoke detectors and other fire equipment such as sprinklers and fire extinguishers and fire blankets are regularly maintained. Take time to ensure this is done and acquaint yourself with the location of these devices so that should a fire break out you know where they are and how to use them.
- Evacuation routes and fire exits: Make sure you know where your escape routes are and the safest route to your assembly point – especially if you are on an upper floor – and never use the lift. Make it part of your role to ensure fire exits are never blocked. Remove anything that may be blocking them or report the obstruction to your fire warden.
- Fire drills Understand the audible and non-audible alarms your fire detectors will emit and the ensure you have been involved in a fire drill so that you know what to do in the event of a fire and can get to safety.
- Smoking: If you smoke and there is a designated smoking area, be vigilant and ensure all cigarettes are completely extinguished and butt-ends placed in a suitable receptacle.
- Cooking: Take care in the staff room or canteen when using electrical and other cooking appliances. Set a timer so that you do not forget food is cooking.
- Maintain and test: A regime of periodic testing and maintenance is a legal requirement to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations. To create a good safety culture, regular tests of the fire safety systems and equipment should be implemented and recorded. Do not be afraid to question management if you think this is not occurring.
- Be alert: It’s easy to think someone else will deal with it – if you see something that may compromise fire safety – even if it is not directly related to your working area – report it to your fire safety officer. Building works or other disruptions to roads and other premises around your office may have a knock-on effect. Better to be safe than sorry!
When a fire breaks out a fast and trained response from those immediately involved can make such a difference. The speed at which the fire alarm sounds and the fire service called can save lives and limit damage.
Only use a fire extinguisher if it is safe to do so in order to aid your speedy exit from the building – the number one responsibility of a responsible individual is to get you, your colleagues and any visitors to your office evacuated to safety in a controlled and organised manner.
ABOUT TECSERV UK
Tecserv UK Ltd provides fire protection, intruder alarms, access control solutions and CCTV surveillance equipment for commercial, industrial and prestige buildings located across the UK. The company is a quality assured and BAFE approved company and have a network of experienced and fully trained field engineers who ensure systems are maintained and supported on a nationwide basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.