How to write a fire safety policy?

How to write a fire safety policy?

Fire safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to keeping yourself, your employees and property safe and free from damage. You are responsible for fire safety in business or any non-domestic premises if you are; an employer, the owner, the landlord, an occupier or have control of the building e.g a facilities manager.

Ensuring you keep fire safety as a priority is extremely important. With responsibilities including carrying out a fire risk assessment, telling staff about identified risks, put in place appropriate fire safety measures, planning for emergencies and making sure staff have adequate fire safety training, all must be covered to ensure staff remain safe.

With Fire and Rescue services attending 582,551 incidents, and with 248 fire related fatalities in the year ending September 2018 (GOV UK), fire safety is not a health and safety procedure to be overlooked. Making sure all appropriate fire safety checks are routinely carried out (including something as simple as checking your fire alarm) can really make the difference between life and death.

Considering this, every business is required to have a formal fire safety policy. As an important part of your fire safety procedure, it should be checked periodically and signed off by the most senior person in your company. A fire safety policy demonstrates fire safety procedures and what people should do during the unlikely event of a fire.

A fire safety policy should include a policy statement covering immediate evacuation, raising the alarm and reporting any concerns. This is a general over view and is typically a representation of how businesses treat fires and what is expected of staff e.g leaving immediately and not taking any belongings.

Following this, a fire safety policy should also include preventive measures and what your company policy may be for this. As an example, that may be identifying safe methods of work or carrying our risk assessment procedures. As well as this, fire safety policies include protective measures such as appointing fire wardens, having regular fire drills and inspecting means of escape.

Ensuring all points are covered in a fire safety policy is paramount for businesses to reduce the risk of injury or damage with the next step in the policy including what procedures to take in the event of a fire. This could include factors such as activating the nearest fire alarm, evacuating the building as soon as possible and reporting to the assembly point. Highlighting this important information can make evacuation a swift, safe procedure eliminating the need for any injuries caused by a fire.

Just as importantly as following fire safety steps, ensuring administrative guidelines are kept up to is also key. Full, detailed records must be kept in the fire log even covering fire drills and fire alarm tests. In addition to this, a fire safety policy may also include a section on training, covering where staff can read the fire safety policy whenever they want, the location of fire safety equipment such as extinguishers and fire alarm points.

Covering all of this information in a fire safety policy increases the likelihood of more employees learning about fire safety, in turn making your working environment even safer. It is also important to refresh the policy and keep it up to date. If you get new staff members who join your team for example who may be responsible for organising fire safety training, their name should be updated. This means that whenever anyone needs to check the policy, they are always getting the most current, informative information.

31st Mar 2019 Christopher Maltby CW

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