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