Fire Health and Safety - Early Detection
When it comes to the outbreak of fire in a place of work - just as it is in the home - early detection can often be the difference between death or escaping with no or very minor injuries. This is because detecting the fire early gives people more time to evacuate the building before the fire spreads and grows to such an extent that it traps people and prevents escape, or allows them to tackle the blaze with fire-fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers before it becomes so large that this is no longer appropriate and the emergency services need to be called to deal with it.
There are a number of possible reasons for failing to detect a fire that has started in a timely manner. These include the lack of a fire alarm system, the fire starting in an area of the building or grounds that are usually unoccupied, or the fire starting at a time outside of business hours when nobody is around to see it. Many businesses have incinerators or burn waste/materials and so the sight of smoke or the smell of burning may not immediately signal danger to a person as it would if nothing was ever burnt on-site.
Along with being provided with health and safety training which gives employees a greater understanding of the risks they face at work from fire and how their actions or inactions can contribute to a fire breaking out, they also need to receive training which makes them aware of the specific fire and emergency procedures that are in place at the company, including what the alarm sounds like and the location of emergency exits, equipment to tackle the fire and emergency assembly points. This should also extend to site visitors who will also need to know what to do in the event of a fire or other emergency requiring them to evacuate the premises.