Whether you are moving into your first office or relocating due to growth, the process of moving office comes with many tasks. From setting up desks and phones to ensuring everyone who needs access has it, the list goes one. However, one thing many businesses forget to do when moving is to make sure they are covered when it comes to fire safety.
Below, we share a fire safety checklist to help you start this new chapter on the right foot.
Appoint the 'Responsible Person' for fire safety
Unless your office is managed by a Facilities Manager you will need to appoint a ‘Responsible Person’. This is a person who has legal responsibility for fire safety in the building.
This is a big responsibility as this individual is in charge of overseeing the safety of everyone in the business. And, if they fail to adhere to laws and regulations, they can be fined and in extreme cases, imprisoned.
Their tasks and duties include:
- Conducting risk assessments
- Ensuring risks identified are addressed
- Communicating details of risks with the team
- Preparing and educating on fire exit plans
- Organising fire safety training
- And much more
It is common for the Responsible Person to work with an outside fire safety expert. This is because
Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment
A fire risk assessment will be required to be carried out annually by law. But, it will also act as a fire safety audit.
Allowing you to get to grips with the building, where the risks are and the equipment needed, conducting the assessment will highlight the best ways to protect the business and the people using it.
You can either give this task to your Responsible Person or outsource to a fire safety company.
The fire risk assessment will identify hazards, highlight the people at risk, assess the risks, record the findings and review the fire safety setup.
Fire alarm testing
Whether you have had a new fire alarm installed or are using one that came with the building, getting your head around how it works is a must.
As well as getting to grips with the way it operates, it also pays to make a plan with regards to maintaining the alarm.
Weekly testing is required to validate that the system is functional and no faults have arisen. When moving into your new premises you should create a schedule/calendar for testing or inform your fire safety company that you require them to maintain the alarm.
The option you choose will be dependent on whether or not you have the time to put aside every week to conduct a full fire alarm test.
Having the right types of fire extinguishers in the right locations is essential. And, though there may already be extinguishers at the office, they may not be sufficient. This is because the types of extinguishers you need will be dictated by the type of work you conduct, which may well be different from the previous owner/tenant.
It is also worth noting that when you do have the right extinguishers in the right places that they are visually inspected regularly.
- Checking the extinguishers are in the right place
- They are clearly visible
- The instructions are facing outwards
Fire safety signage
Getting the right fire safety signs on display is another priority you should not overlook. This is because signage is an inexpensive and easy way of informing staff, customers and visitors of risks, exits and so on.
Like anything, fire doors and fire door standards change and evolve with time. This is why when moving into new premises it is wise to have your fire doors looked at. Being integral in the smooth exit of a building in an emergency, you cannot afford not to.
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If you are unsure about what your fire safety duties are, contact us today.