If you are an employer or business owner, you have a legal duty to ensure that your premises and the people who work for you are safe from fire and its effects.
You can do this by:
- Carrying out a fire risk assessment for your workplace
- Using the risk assessment to find out who might be especially at risk in the event of a fire (you must keep a record of this information if you employ five or more people)
- Providing and maintaining the necessary fire precautions to protect the people who use your workplace
- Providing necessary fire safety information, instructions and training to your employees
Once any hazards and those employees at most risk have been identified, appropriate action can be taken so that they can be managed effectively. Most fires are easily preventable if you adopt the correct safety measures and procedures.
It is important to note that fires need three things to start; a source of ignition, a source of fuel, and oxygen. If any one of these is missing, a fire cannot start. Taking steps to prevent these three elements coming together will reduce the chances of a fire occurring.
The role of fire doors
Something that is commonly overlooked is the significance a fire door plays in the prevention of, and the reduction of damage caused by fire.
Fire doors are specifically designed to reduce the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building. They are legal requirements which have two important functions during a fire; when closed they form a barrier to stop the spread, and when opened provide a means of escape.
Every fire door is therefore required to act as a barrier to the passage of smoke and/or fire to varying degrees depending on the environment.
As well as proving a danger for young, elderly or disabled people, we are all aware of the inconvenience posed by having to continuously push through heavy, cumbersome fire doors, and it is common practice to wedge open these walk ways for ease of access.
But what many people don’t realise is that by doing this you are effectively breaking the law.
Within a hectic workplace, employees often find themselves rushing around on their feet for a considerable amount of the day. In these circumstances it is probably tempting to prop open fire doors so as to relieve corridor congestion and to make life easier to travel from one place to another efficiently.
However, fire doors are there for a reason, and the damage inflicted by the flames and smoke to your property will be significantly worse if they fire doors have not been closed properly. Most importantly, the presence of them could make a difference between life and death for you or your employees.
Luckily, there are now several new devices that have been designed to make life easier for you and your employees, whilst adhering to safety regulations.
Dorgard is a lightweight wireless unit that holds doors open at any angle, allowing freedom of access throughout the building, and eliminating the risk of fire spreading by closing them at the first sign of fire.
This simple device allows for you to continue your day to day activities safe in the knowledge that you are protected from the risks of fire.
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