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Health and Safety

Fire Safety

Fire poses a threat to life through fume and smoke from furniture and fittings, burning and structural collapse of buildings. Through fire safety risk assessment, much can be done to minimise the risk of fire starting in the workplace by identifying and controlling fire safety hazards and to contain effects of fire once it has started.

The following fire safety checklist will aid you in your risk assessment of the workplace:

Fire Prevention

  • Keep work areas clean and tidy
  • Dispose of waste regularly
  • Store goods and equipment tidily
  • Keep electric fires/lamps away from combustible material
  • Regularly inspect and have repaired any worn or damage electrical equipment or wiring. Periodic examinations, checks and repairs must be carried out by a competent person
  • Never put items such as books, papers or clothing over heaters or ventilation openings on equipment
  • Develop a system for checking work areas at the end of the day to make sure that equipment is switched off and that there are no discarded cigarette ends
  • Devise a smoking policy. If smoking is permitted, then ensure it is only allowed in "safe" areas
  • Remove grease frequently from kitchen ventilators and cooker extractor hoods
  • When flammable substances are used, keep them in a proper storage cabinet and for large quantities, provide a "flammables" fire resisting cabinet
  • Make sure that liquefied petroleum gas appliances are serviced regularly and that cylinders are stored/installed outside in a well ventilated compound area where no tampering can take place.
  • Ensure good ventilation to areas where flammable vapours or dust may be created, e.g. welding, battery charging, etc.

Fire Protection

  • Keep fire doors closed - if fire doors are on automatic door release units, ensure they are not obstructed
  • Make sure that any smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, etc., are well maintained
  • Check fire dampers in ducting and hoods operate efficiently
  • Before carrying out any alterations to fire resisting structures inform Tameside's Building Control Department
  • Make sure staff know how to raise the alarm and how and when to use fire extinguishers

Fire Fighting Equipment

It can be very dangerous to use the wrong extinguisher.

Types of fire extinguishers:

  • Water - used for general fires such as burning paper, cloth or wood
  • Foam - used for burning liquids, chip pan fires, petrol fires
  • Fire Blanket - used for pan fires, when a person's clothes are on fire
  • Powder Standard - used for burning liquids, electrical fires, pan fires
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - used for burning liquids, electrical fires, pan fires

Fire Certification

Ask advice from your local Fire Authority on matters relating to fire safety and whether you need a fire certificate.

Workplaces where 20 or more people are employed to work at any one time, or have more than 10 people employed at any one time other than on the ground floor requires a fire certificate.

A copy of the fire certificate, which deals with fire exit doors, means of escape, and fire fighting, must be kept on the premises.

The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations require employers and self-employed people to carry out risk assessments. Please refer to the fire safety checklist above to help you in this matter.

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