Importance of fire safety plans during Winter

Insurance broker Gallagher highlights how the colder weather can bring an increased fire risk in commercial premises when keeping people and buildings warm. If fire safety plans have not been reviewed and communicated lately it should be made a priority.

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Fire safety protocols in the workplace are not only required by law but are crucial to the safety of employees and visitors, and the protection of property and equipment.

Workplace fires are commonly caused by defective or improperly used electrical equipment, and winter is the peak time for these types of incidents. Risks can include, for example, space heaters in stockrooms containing an overflow of seasonal stock, overloaded electrical sockets or frayed wiring, or even a well-used canteen microwave that is not being cleaned regularly.

Poor workmanship, a lack of maintenance or insufficient fire safety knowledge can also lead to fire risk, which can be greatly reduced by fire safety awareness training and the commitment of management to ensure this is being carried out correctly.

Conducting a fire safety risk assessment

The importance of a fire risk assessment and adequate staff training cannot be underestimated. Every organisation’s fire safety risk assessment will be different, but there are some things they should all have in common, including mitigating potential fire risks, having a defined evacuation plan, conducting regular fire drills and ensuring there is clarity on the nominated fire wardens. A fire risk assessment should also be reviewed on a regular basis—ideally every year.

Has your workplace usage or layout changed?

Over the last two to three years, many workplaces will have experienced changes in the way they have been used, either with fewer staff working on the premises, different approaches to layout or perhaps changing premises altogether. During this time, regular fire drills may not have been carried out, leaving staff members potentially unaware of the fire safety procedure, especially employees who are new to the company. If you have moved to new premises, you should always carry out a new risk assessment to ensure that you cover all aspects of fire safety relevant to your new space.

Risk management support 

Gallagher’s specialist team can carry out an audit of fire risk safety precautions and risk assessments to help protect businesses and staff. A range of risk management services can also be provided, including health and safety, to help manage an organisation’s risk proactively and meet legal obligations. By taking this positive approach to risk management, it may be possible to lower your insurance premiums, improve terms and reduce claims.

To discuss any insurance requirements, telephone the Gallagher Propertymark Team at 0800 288 4921 or email [email protected]

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Gallagher: Insurance

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