Following his FM article ‘Fire safety and your facility‘, Matt Sulley, national manager at Wormald, maps out a fire safety checklist for facility managers.
Conduct an audit
- Hazards will vary depending on the nature of the business or property, but can include electrical equipment, kitchen or heating appliances, flammable liquids and combustible waste material.
- A fire protection specialist can help to identify hazards and recommend the most appropriate fire protection solution for your facility.
Tailor your fire protection systems and equipment
- The right fire protection solution for your facility will depend on a number of factors, including:
- legislation and standards
- size and type of building
- materials being handled on the premises, and
- purpose of the building (e.g. offices, materials storage, manufacturing, residential).
Service and maintain your equipment
- Regular testing can validate the functionality of the systems and equipment and help to uncover any faults or issues that may cause malfunction.
- Australian Standard AS1851-2012–‘Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment’ recommends that fire protection systems be regularly inspected.
Know the rules
- Keep up-to-date on national- and state-based fire safety regulations and standards in relation to fire protection equipment, maintenance or training.
- Develop a fire prevention plan in accordance with Australian Standard AS3745-2010 – ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’.
Signage is essential
- Fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment must be clearly marked.
- Emergency exits signs must be visible so that in the event of an evacuation, people can be directed to escape quickly.
- Everyone working with in a facility should know how to respond to a fire emergency and how to use the fire equipment on-site.
- Fire safety training can be included in staff induction where new employees are briefed and trained on what to do in the event
of a fire.
- Fire wardens should be fully trained on their responsibilities, the fire equipment and the emergency warning and communication systems in their premises. Remember to replace wardens when they leave, and make sure all occupants know who their area warden is.
Don’t be complacent. Fire is a serious matter and those responsible for managing a building must keep on top of fire safety. Fire protection specialists can take the stress out of maintaining fire protection systems and provide assurance and reporting assistance to facility managers and organisations.
Image: 123RFs Napatta Kawnuai © 123RF.com