With the return to offices across the region imminent, made possible by the slow relaxation of the pandemic lockdown rules, many businesses are focused on how to get people back into the office. It’s equally as important to consider how safe your office space might be and how prepared your staff are in terms of fire safety when they do return. Equally, lots of businesses are considering far more flexible working arrangements or are going to downsize the office space they require because their staff will often work from home – or they’ve reduced headcount as a result of the challenges of the past year.
Whatever your commercial circumstances, it’s vital that you prioritise your fire safety provision as an integral part of your return to the office or new premises.
Train new fire wardens!
You may already have a fully trained fire warden but if they’ve been furloughed or made redundant, you’ll need to appoint someone new and get them trained and in place as soon as possible, in order to remain compliant. The number you will need will depend on the size of your company and that’s something the Realm team can help you with. We also provide fire warden training on site so that your fire warden(s) learns in their own workplace, which means they familiarise themselves with the location of all your fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment. We provide a course that combines theory with practice, including handling real fire extinguishers so that people can appreciate how heavy they are and understand how to put out a real fire, that’s safely controlled for the exercise.
Have your fire extinguishers properly checked
It’s also really important to check that all your fire extinguishers are in good working order. Ours all come with a five-year warranty so the first to check is the date to see when each of your fire extinguishers were last inspected – something easily overlooked in the past year or so. And when did you last have a fire drill? It always makes me think of fire drills at school – they were brilliant for interrupting a maths lesson – but just like school, your business should have a clear fire drill plan and we would strongly suggest you have one at your business within the first few weeks – and certainly within the first month of a return to work. That may mean conducting two fire drills if people are working in the office more flexibly, to ensure that all your staff have been through the drill. Smoke alarms, fire alarms and other security systems you have at your premises will also need checking to make sure that they’re in good working order. If in doubt, replace all batteries with new ones and call us in to provide a full assessment.
Get your fire risk assessments done
Employers are required to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment of their premises to ensure that their staff are safe from the risk of fire. Fire Risk Assessment must be reviewed regularly or if there has been a change to the building or work practices. We’re receiving enquiries all the time and the last thing you want is to have to wait as this is something that can invalidate your business insurance. Realm has fire safety experts ready to come and inspect your business and provide thorough and compliant Fire Risk Assessments; it’s really important you use businesses who are fully accredited. We are third party accredited for BAFE SP 205 Fire Risk Assessment scheme as well as BAFE SP 201 registered Fire Extinguisher Engineers and BAFE SP203 Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Accredited. In addition, we are ISO 9001-accredited and a member of the Fire Protection Association as well as a member of the Fire Industry Association. We take these memberships and qualifications incredibly seriously because we want to ensure that we can properly support and advise all our clients and make your lives as straightforward and as safe as possible.
If you would like to discuss your return to work and any of the fire safety requirements we’ve discussed, please contact the team on 01224 710014 or email@example.com with return to work in the subject line.