How to Reduce the Risks from Fire
A fire can be dangerous not only for the health and well-being of people but can also be extremely damaging to stock and buildings. This means that as well has being a legal requirement, it is also in a company's best interests to limit the potential damage that a fire could cause, and preferably to reduce the chances of one starting in the first place. A comprehensive fire risk assessment needs to be undertaken by a competent person to identify risks and take the appropriate action. When it is impractical to totally remove a risk then suitable protective measures need to be introduced.
In terms of prevention, which is more preferable to dealing with the aftermath of a fire, there are a number of steps which can be taken. One of the primary ways of preventing the outbreak of a fire is to take away a source of ignition. Examples of sources of ignition include hot surfaces, faulty electrical wiring, discarded cigarettes, arson etc.
Whilst some sources of ignition can be removed or made safe, for others it will be impractical, and in this case where they remain they should be kept away from potential sources of fuel. This fuel for a fire is anything that burns, and steps can be taken including replacing flammable materials with fire-resistant ones if possible and not storing flammable materials near sources of heat. Fire doors should also be kept closed to slow or prevent the spread of fire, and the installation of a ceiling sprinkler system can help to extinguish any fire which starts in the building.
Along with fire training health and safety courses and qualifications such as the NEBOSH Fire Certificate, the introduction of procedures such as a hot permit to work system can help to prevent fires and reduce the chances of a fire-related accident or incident. This will however rely on workers understanding the permit to work system and following it correctly.