Being immersed in the world of Fire and Rescue, having the right mentality to keep business premises safe and ensure staff are fully trained by quality instructors seems a bit obvious, however to many businesses out there it’s a bit of the unknown.
The amount of (smaller) businesses we work with around the UK that have had no Fire Safety training, no training on how to use Fire Extinguishers, no Fire Risk Assessment or have no Fire Evacuation plans in place is worryingly considerable.
A couple of quick introductory tips for businesses:
Fire Risk Assessment – no one knows your business better than you, get a free template here from your local Fire Service’s website then use the guidance provided, give it a go, try to see if your local Fire Service will check it over upon completion – it’s fairly obvious stuff around evacuation procedures, ways to raise the alarm, staff and customer populations and locations, means of escape and means of supressing Fire. Now more complex environments will need support, but basic, low risk premises should be fairly straight forward. Then don’t forget to review annually, (or if there’s a major change within the business). If you are going to bring someone external in to perform your Fire Risk Assessment, its worth ensuring they are suitably qualified, experienced and have the right insurance to perform the task at hand.
Training – can you deliver in-house training? If yes, then great, if not how do you know the provider you are using is reputable and experienced? Well just like anything else, research their credentials, question about their business insurance coverage, their qualifications, experience etc – remember its not all about the price
Fire Extinguishers, most require an annual service – how many businesses just let their service company in, perform their duties and wait for the invoice to arrive? Don’t!!! make sure you aren’t being over provided for, make sure the servicing costs are itemised for the actual service and parts/repairs, just like anything else in this world now, your extinguisher provision should be competitive. Now Vital supply P50 Fire Extinguishers, ones that require no external person to visit site annually and can reduce the over cost of extinguisher provision dramatically – is it the right option for everyone .. no, however were always honest and we’ll always advise the customer accordingly on their best course of action.
Alarms – also need checking over, some businesses have “open protocol” which means their alarms can be checked over by anyone qualified to do so, whereas some systems are “closed protocol” where the company who fitted the system are typically the ones who need to maintain the system, (unless an alarm engineer has been trained in that system). These are things to consider more if you’re thinking of getting a new alarm system in, get a long-term quotation on the fitting, servicing and repair costs – just to ensure there aren’t any nasty surprises in the future.
As with anything to do with Fire, there are a plethora of providers out there, able to deliver goods and services – the key message is, please ensure you get the best value, but not at the cost of less quality. We at Vital Fire are always happy to discuss any of these business safety points further with any existing or possible future customers, so by all means get in touch to chat to one of our team.