Whether concerning a domestic property or a commercial one, fire safety is of crucial importance. A lack of diligence with regards to fire safety could potentially result in extortionate fines, injuries or even fatalities and with this in mind, those in charge of a building must adhere to the stringent rules and regulations surrounding the threat of fire.
Setting up your own company is an extremely exciting venture that definitely calls for celebration, however, in addition to focusing on the specifics of the business, it’s important to attend to health and safety tasks as a matter of priority. After all, when you run a commercial building, you’re partially responsible for the well-being of both staff members and customers and although unlikely to occur, a breakout of fire could have devastating effects and these risks must be managed accordingly.
Whilst there are many different precautions you can take to ensure your property is fire-resistant, fire doors are one of the most crucial aspects of building up a strong line of defence against a blaze. Fire doors restrict and delay the spread of fire when closed and provide an escape route when open and they are specially designed to be resistant to flames. These doors should be supplied and installed by specialists to ensure they are compliant with fire safety regulations, however, it’s your job as the business owner to get this process under way.
If this is your first solo business venture, the ins and outs of fire safety can be difficult to keep on top of and this important responsibility can be overwhelming to take on to say the least. So, to help you ensure your commercial building is fire-safe, we’ve explored the rules and regulations surrounding fire safety in the workplace, the different precautions that can be taken and things to consider when purchasing fire doors for your commercial property.
Fire safety in commercial buildings: what are your responsibilities?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is a set of guidelines and rules for organisations based in England and Wales regarding fire safety. The Order specifies that it is the duty of a responsible individual to ensure that a commercial premises is protected against fire and this person can be an employer, building owner, building landlord, occupier or anyone else who has control of the property.
When it comes to fire safety in the workplace, there are numerous things to consider and the design of the building and nature of your organisation could have a significant effect on what precautions should be taken. The Order above states that the onus is on each individual business to carry out the appropriate risk assessments in order to identify any potential hazards and manage them accordingly. Whilst this is something you can do this yourself, you may want to hire a professional fire risk assessor if you’re concerned about your level of expertise.
The assessment will help to identify any potential fire hazards and people who may be at risk and once this has been clarified, it’s your job to inform your staff of your findings, put appropriate fire safety measures in place, plan for an emergency and provide fire safety training. Again, this can all be carried out with the help of a professional, but it’s important to note that a fire risk assessment should be reviewed regularly and updated if necessary.
From internal fire doors to fire extinguishers: how to ensure your building is fire-resistant
One of the most important aspects of a fire risk assessment is locating fire hazards as once these have been identified, you can work out how best to combat them. As mentioned previously, there are many safeguards you can implement to make your workplace less vulnerable to fire damage, some of which we’ve listed below.
Fire detection system
All commercial buildings are required by law to have a fire detection system in place such as an alarm so that everyone in the building is alerted to the problem as quickly as possible. This will give you time to implement your emergency strategy and the earlier a fire is caught, the less damage it’s likely to cause.
Internal fire doors
Fire doors have a fire-resistance rating and are used to reduce the spread of fire between different components of a building. They are required to meet very strict standards in order to be deemed effective and they come in different categories. For example, an FD30 fire door provides 30 minutes of protection against a fire whereas an FD60 remains resistant for approximately 60 minutes. The category of fire door you require will largely depend on the layout of your commercial building as well as the type of business you run and if you’re unsure what the safest option is, an expert can surely advise you.
Fire extinguishers should be stored in appropriate places around a workspace and there should be a sufficient amount for the size of your building. UK fire extinguisher regulations state that there should be a minimum of two Class A fire extinguishers per floor in a commercial building, however, you may need more depending on the square footage of the premises. You should also ensure you get extinguishers that are most suitable for the fire your business is most at risk of for maximum safety.
Fire safety training and regular fire drills
Fire safety training is essential to ensure your staff members are aware of what procedures to follow in the event of a fire. It’s extremely important that employees know crucial information such as the location of escape routes and the fire assembly point and one of the best ways to keep this information fresh in people’s heads is to conduct regular fire drills.
Need fire doors for your commercial building? Contact a door specialist
Installing fire doors is an essential part of increasing fire safety within your commercial property and when it comes to making your selection, it’s important to rely on a reputable door specialist. Not only will they likely offer a variety of different products, but they will also be able to offer expert advice on which design best suits your premises.
Whereas fire doors were once plainly designed with a somewhat industrial feel, you can now purchase both internal and external fire doors in a broad range of styles and colour schemes, ensuring they fit in seamlessly with the overall aesthetics of your building. Whether you want a glazed door or a wooden entrance, fire doors can be both practical and visually appealing, but be sure to rely on professionals in the business for maximum variety.
When it comes to the cost of your fire doors, prices will vary depending on who you buy from and further to this, the features of the design will affect the cost significantly. Fire doors can cost anywhere from £54 to £575 so, to ensure you get the best price possible (and the best product for your business), it’s important to be transparent about both the nature of your organisation and your budget.
Whether you work in retail, hospitality, the construction trade or you run your own office, fire doors are a crucial part of keeping you, your employees and your commercial building safe from this threat. So, whatever industry you’re in, it’s important to prioritise the installation of fire doors as well as other important safeguards to give you peace of mind that, in the event of an emergency, your business is protected.
Whether you need interior or exterior doors, rely on the experts at Finewood
At Finewood, we supply doors to both domestic and commercial customers and our varied selection of products guarantees every customer leaves happy.
We work with Doorworks, one of the UK’s leading door manufacturers, and we supply fully certified fire rated products to a broad range of industries. So, if you’re looking to improve fire safety at your commercial premises, look no further than Finewood.
Whether you’d like internal wooden doors or external Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP) doors, our doors are constructed to stand the test of time and further to this, many of our products are more or less maintenance free for your convenience.
To find out more about what our joiners can do for you here at Finewood, contact us today and we’ll talk you through our products, including our high-quality fire doors.