An early Christmas warning from Wrightstyle

  • 20 Oct 2015

With Christmas on the horizon, Wrightstyle Technical Director Lee Coates looks at fire training in the build up to the holidays.

The UK Chief Fire Officers Association recently named the second week of September as Business Safety Week.

The initiative was designed to build on the goals set out in the association’s Business Safety Strategy – a strategy which aims to reduce the risk of fire in companies or trade organisations of all sizes as Christmas approaches.

The message of this year’s campaign was to keep it SIMPLE:

  • Store stock safely: keep corridors, stairs and exits clear
  • Identify alarm points so you can warn others
  • Make sure doors are closed to stop fires from spreading
  • Place things that catch fire away from things that cause fire
  • Let someone know if you spot fire safety problems
  • Ensure everyone knows what to do if a fire alarm sounds.

Fire safety training

As the association points out, the Christmas holidays are not far off, and organisations are already beginning to recruit for the busy festive period.

The association’s core message is that part-time or seasonal staff need, as part of initial training, the fire safety knowledge to keep themselves, customers and colleagues safe. 

It is also an ideal opportunity to remind permanent members of staff of those safety rules, because regular training is a requirement of fire regulations.

Responsible persons

Senior managers must be aware of their legal responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Under the regulations, managers designated as ‘responsible persons’ must carry out periodical reviews to ensure fire safety issues are identified and eradicated to increase safety.

The responsible persons most important duty is to look realistically at their business, make an assessment of possible risk, and put strategies into place to prevent this.

A responsible person however need not be an expert in fire safety; he or she must merely appoint someone who is, often an external advisor – and that begins with a risk assessment.

Year round safety

Strategies to deal with fire aren’t just a seasonal issue. The Fire Officers Association’s initiative is timely, because there is always a risk of fire – especially when part-time or temporary staff are employed. It is why fire safety training is so important.

For example, in 2014, the Pure Wafer factory in Swansea caught fire. The blaze took over 60 fire fighters to extinguish it, leading to more than 100 redundancies and the transfer of business to the USA.

Wrightstyle develops fire safety solutions and ways in which fire can be safely contained and dealt with.

The company’s steel and aluminium glazing systems are designed to contain fire for up to two hours, minimising damage and allowing people to evacuate the premises safely.

All fires, large or small, are an emergency for any business. I’s not just about damage to stock or property, let alone the danger to people. There is also the continuity of operations to consider.

It is therefore a good time to heed the professionals’ advice and, in addition to staff safety training, look at your company’s wider range of fire safety strategies.

Unit 2&7 Banda Trading Estate,
Nursteed Road,
United Kingdom,
SN10 3DY

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