While most workspaces will never experience a fire, even a small fire has the possibility of getting out of hand very quickly and could easily turn into an emergency. The last thing you want is the wrong fire equipment, equipment that is not in proper working order, or worried employees who have no fire safety plan to follow.
As a business owner in South Africa, you’re legally obliged to provide a safe workplace for all your employees, which includes the provision of firefighting equipment and safety rules to ensure the ongoing protection of your employees.
In order to assess your workplace readiness for a fire, the following questions are a good place to start:
Have you had a fire safety inspection at your premises?
When last was your fire equipment checked and tested?
Who is trained to use this equipment?
Is your electrical wiring, equipment or appliances in good condition?
Do you have an approved evacuation scheme?
What are the latest fire regulations?
If you are unsure of any of these answers or you have neglected your workplace fire safety, now is the time to get fire safe.
Regular fire safety inspections provide business owners, employees, and customers peace of mind that the workplace is safe and that all necessary measures are in place to minimise any risks of damage or harm. They also identify areas where businesses can improve their fire safety measures to create a safer environment. There are possibly specific fire safety requirements for different areas of your workplace. Knowing that you have the correct fire equipment at the ready for a fire in those varying locations is critical. These inspections may also recommend additional equipment or procedures to enhance safety, such as adding smoke detectors or improving evacuation routes.
The following important points should be included in a fire inspection:
Floor plan diagrams
Emergency fire equipment
Fire exit doors
Fire hose reels
No two companies are the same and each company will have to develop their own individual checklists to ensure all the objectives are met. It is important that all the risks are identified and that high-risk areas such as flammable liquid stores, waste collection areas and hot work activities receive special attention.
In addition, suitable employees need to be appointed to act as fire fighters in the workplace. They will be responsible for performing basic firefighting functions in the event of a fire emergency occurring. Employees must be instructed on how to use firefighting equipment and be given clear guidelines regarding fire precaution.
Furthermore, the following safety measures are required:
Notices on fire safety and procedures must be displayed clearly in the event of a fire on site.
Regular fire drills must be conducted to ensure that employees know how to react and where to go in the shortest time possible in case of a fire.
Employees must know how to notify emergency services.
Employees must have a basic understanding of how to contain the fire (such as knowing to keep doors and windows closed as far as possible.
To make sure you have done all you can to ensure your workplace is as fire safe as possible, usually means calling on an experienced and professional team that you can trust.
Spot-On Fire Controls (Pty) Ltd is a Level 1 BBBEE fire protection company servicing businesses in KwaZulu-Natal. The company has 33 years of credible experience in fire protection services. Its expertise includes all aspects of fire protection as well as provides firefighting training, which provides their clients with peaceof-mind knowing that their assets are covered.
For more information contact:
T: +27 (0)73 388 8247