Business fire safety is a big topic, and many of our clients aren’t aware of just how chaotic an office fire, or multi-story building fire can be. Many of us consider home fire safety to be paramount, without considering what could happen during the many hours we spend at our workplaces each day, each week, each year.
Fire safety for businesses is not only mandated by the NZ legislation, but it is also a highly practical concern that should never be brushed over. Often, workplaces hold a high concentration of people, with restricted ingress and egress points. During a fire, it is natural for panic to set in, which can lead to hysteria and poor decision making. In a crowded environment with limited exits, this is a simple recipe for disaster. Our role is to assess, supply, maintain and educate businesses and building owners in fire safety. We provide the training to ensure that if the worst does happen, panic will not be the first response.
Get the right fire equipment for your building
Many of our clients believe that having a fire extinguisher somewhere on their premises is enough to call themselves ‘fire safe’. In reality, should a fire break loose within their property, the existence of one fire extinguisher is unlikely to make an impact. Especially should that fire extinguisher be located on a different floor, behind stock, or in a back room that no one is aware of. A large part of our service revolves around the assessment of buildings and the supply and installation of correct fire safety equipment. Every building is unique, and we assess based on a number of factors. Fire safety equipment should be easily identifiable, easily accessible, and appropriate for the volume of the commercial space it is located within.
There is simply no point in having fire safety equipment located on a single level of a multi-storey building, or tucked away nicely out of sight in a back room. The fire equipment needs to be highly visible, with appropriate instructions and signs indicating nearest exits in case of emergency.
Maintaining fire equipment for your business
Often, when we visit with new clients, we are proudly shown their existing fire safety equipment. While we always applaud the fact that businesses take the time and effort to have this equipment in place, we sometimes find that the fire extinguishers have never been serviced and the fire equipment is not regularly maintained. It is understandable that fire equipment isn’t a priority for many business owners, however relying on fire equipment that hasn’t been maintained or serviced is like driving car without a Warrant of Fitness: it’s just asking for trouble! Having the correct fire equipment on hand is just the first step. Maintaining that equipment regularly and ensuring all fire extinguishers are serviced could make all the difference when surviving a workplace fire incidence.
Not to mention the fact that regularly servicing and maintaining your workplace fire equipment is required by NZ law!
Training on how to use your fire equipment
This is a big one. You may have the right equipment, and it may be in perfectly maintained working order. But does anyone (other than yourself) actually know how to use it? If the worst does happen, and a fire breaks out on a lower level of your multi-storey office block, will those on the upper floors automatically know what to do? Where are they to exit from, how do they use the fire equipment? What processes do you have in place to save their lives?
It sounds dramatic, but the reality is that training saves lives. You need to have a fire plan in place, you need to have nominated employees trained to assist occupants to evacuate, you need to have an evacuation procedure in place. All of these points are non-negotiable and are clearly listed in the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 (SR 2006/123).
Without the right training in place, your equipment is essentially useless, and your business is at a high level of risk. More about fire training we offer…
So there you have it: 3 business fire safety tips to keep your business and staff safe in the event of an emergency. Our team are able to provide all of the necessities to bring your business up to NZ fire safety standard, and our qualified team are able to provide any advice and information you could need.