Fire Safety at Work

Fire Safety at Work

Fire safety considerations in the workplace

Fire Prevention

  1. Look around your workplace - eliminate the hazards
  2. Install a fire detection and alarm system to give early warning
  3. Prepare an evacuation plan & practice it regularly

Fire Control Strategies

  • Active Controls
  • Passive Controls
  • Management Controls

Active Controls

Purpose of Active Controls:

  • To alert occupants to emergency conditions
  • To initiate emergency response
  • To enable occupants extinguish small fires
  • To ensure defined and visible route of escape
  • To ensure a constant supply of water

Equipment Types

    Fire Detection & Alarm Systems

    • Must be installed serviced and maintained to IS 3218
    • Must be mains powered with battery backup
    • Fire Alarm panel must be Checked for faults daily
    • Weekly Checks
    • 3 Monthly Check by a competent person certified
    • 12 Monthly Check by a competent person certified
    • Retain Records
    Example of a break glass unit

    Escape/Emergency Lighting Systems

    • Escape Lighting
    • Must be installed serviced and maintained to IS 3217
    • Inspect Weekly
    • 3 Monthly Check by a competent person certified
    • 12 Monthly Check by a competent person certified
    • Retain Records

    Emergency Exit Signs -S.I. no. 132,1995- Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Signs) Regulations, 1995

    Emergency exit signs

    Fire Extinguishers

    • Installed serviced and maintained in accordance with IS. 291
    • Selection Based on Risk Assessment by supplier
    • Should be positioned about 1m off the ground
    • Inspect Monthly for evidence that they work
    • Test & Inspect Every 12 Months by supplier
      • Discharge Test 25%
      • Retain Record of checks and servicing
    Example of a fire extinguisher
    • Hose Reels
    • Hydrants
    • Fixed Fire Systems

    Passive Controls

    • Fire safety must taken into account when designing building or changing the use of an existing building
    • Fire Safety Certificates are required for all building construction, alterations, extensions. (see section on Fire Safety Certificates)
    • Furnishings and fitting to be of required standards

    Fire Doors

    • Stop the spread of fire and smoke for a period of time
    • A fire door can not stop the spread of smoke and fire if its open
    • Should be fitted with a self-closer
    • Must be kept shut - no wedges holding open
    • Can have electromagnetic hold open device connected to fire alarm

    Management Controls

    Fire Training

    • Statutory Requirement to have staff trained
    • Training must be specific to your organisation
    • Training must be by a competent provider
    • It must be assessed and repeated regularly

    Fire Drills

    • Fire Drills must be held minimum twice a year
    • Simulate one exit blocked by fire
    • Choose safe assembly area
    • A procedure must be put in place to ensure the premises is vacated
    • Keep a record & record any problems encountered

    Record Management

    • All workplaces must have a Fire Safety Register
    • Management functions
    • Assigned duties
    • Record of drills/evacuation
    • Inventory of fire protection equipment
    • Details of inspection & test including Certificates

    Fire Prevention – General Housekeeping

    • Give Heat sources adequate space for heat to dissipate
    • Don’t overload electrical sockets
    • Turn off all electrical appliances after use
    • Avoid the buildup of papers and refuse
    • Store combustibles appropriately. Not along escape routes. Not under stairs
    • Maintain adequate means of escape
    • Keep escape routes clear of all obstructions

    To Summarise

    • Identify risks in your workplace and eliminate hazards
    • Install service and maintain a Fire detection and Alarm system and Emergency Lighting
    • Provide service and maintain Fire Extinguishers
    • Train staff and practice fire drills

    Fire Safety Register

    All workplaces and public buildings must have a robust fire safety management system. This includes the maintenance of a Fire Safety Register on the premises.

    The Fire Safety Manager who is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the fire safety programme should keep a Fire Safety Register as a complete record of all fire safety matters on the premises.

    We have provided a template for a Fire Safety Register below:

    Template Fire Safety Register
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