During the festive season, fire safety is not something to overlook, particularly in an office environment. Christmas celebrations bring with them a multitude of potential fire hazards such as lights, Christmas trees and decorations. Within minutes, a Christmas tree fire can cause a whole room to be ablaze with fire and smoke.
Fire-Safe Christmas Lights
While Christmas lights help to bring festive cheer, they also pose a real fire risk if they have not had Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). Churches Fire recommends using lights that conform to British Standards (look for the BS number on the plug or transformer), being sure not to overload plug sockets.
Be sure to carefully consider where you put your lights, avoiding close proximity to sources of heat or flammable materials and always ensure someone is responsible for turning them off at the end of each day.
Ensure Fire Safety for your Property
Prevent fires at Christmas by following a similar fire safety strategy to the rest of the year. Ensure you have well-maintained passive protection products installed, such as fire doors and consider booking in an inspection with Churches Fire to ensure you are compliant.
Check that your fire safety systems are up-to-date. Your company’s responsible person has a legal accountability to persons within your premises. It is a legal requirement to check that your fire alarms are fully functioning. Regular maintenance of your fire alarm system will keep you safe, not just at Christmas, but all year round. Consider fire alarm monitoring for times your buildings will be unoccupied during the festive period.
A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is a legal requirement for the responsible person. It outlines how you should approach fire safety in your business and should be kept up-to-date. A refresh close to Christmas will help to keep you aware of any potential hazards.
Evacuation in an Emergency
Christmas can be a busy time of year for businesses with more people visiting offices, retail units or work sites. It is your legal duty to ensure the safe evacuation of everyone on your premises should a fire break out. A comprehensive evacuation plan is essential. Your Fire Risk Assessment should make specific recommendations and help you to determine what’s needed.
Evacuation plans need not be complex for the majority of small to medium sized businesses, but should include key details, including:
• escape routes and how to access them
• details of emergency doors and lighting (if required)
• designated congregation areas
• staff training
Evacuation plans should also take into account specific needs of vulnerable people, such as those with a disability who may be a significant risk.
For larger businesses, a more detailed evacuation plan may be required. Churches Fire can partner with your business to ensure your plan fulfils the requirements of your organisation.
Escape routes such as corridors and walkways should remain clear at all times, particularly at Christmas where there is temptation to store additional boxes and items in corridors. Clutter can prove deadly during an evacuation, especially when visibility may be lowered due to smoke, so always consider the safety of your staff and colleagues when choosing where to store and display Christmas decorations.
At Churches Fire, customer safety is paramount. Partner with us to fulfil all of your fire safety requirements. Contact us today on 0870 608 4350 to ensure your business is safe this Christmas.Contact us
We are a third-party accredited company. This means that we are assessed independently on a regular basis to ensure we comply with the highest possible standards. We are ISO 9001:2015 certified, BAFE and LPCB approved as well as being a member of the Fire Industry Association (FIA), ensuring a high-level of experience and knowledge in the fire safety industry.
As the only fully integrated fire safety provided in the UK, Churches Fire technicians are trained to maintain multiple pieces of equipment, using their fully-stocked vans and nationwide stock lockups to ensure issues can be addressed promptly.