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Fire Safety | Prioritisation of Works

Posted: 25/10/2013 11:22

When any Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) or safety assessment is made, it is inevitable that the process will result in some issues requiring action.  These actions can be extremely varied; from a recommendation to place an adhesive sign on a fire door, to the installation of a new fire alarm system, for example.

Is undertaking an FRA enough?

If your FRA has been undertaken using the Complete Fire Safety Management online system, you will already be aware that it is the actions taken as a result of the FRA which are important. Sometimes, people believe that undertaking an FRA is sufficient to comply with current legislation, when in fact; it is acting on the findings that reduces risk and assists in meeting legislative requirements.

Prioritisation of Fire Safety Actions

Whilst a standard FRA will recommend works and actions to be undertaken, it is not necessarily the norm for the risk assessment process to prioritise those works, although it is noted that some 'natural prioritisation' will occur based on the risk level that is established.


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Effective Fire Safety | Active & Passive Fire Precautions

Posted: 16/10/2013 11:33

Understanding the types of fire safety precautions and how they can be used to complement and compensate for each other, can be useful when a building is under construction, or being renovated from a warehouse to flats, for example.

A fire safety design will address life and building survival through combining two categories of fire precaution - active and passive.

Active Fire Precautions

Active fire precautions are installations that usually monitor for the presence of a fire or smoke; or interact with a fire when it occurs.  The most common example of active fire precautions is Automatic Fire Detection (AFD).  An AFD system constantly reviews conditions within the building and reports back to the control panel.  Similarly, suppression systems, such as sprinklers, monitor conditions and, should a fire occur, the extinguishing media will be used to control or extinguish the fire.

Passive Fire Precautions

In contrast to active systems, passive fire precautions do not monitor a situation but are installed in most cases to strengthen the core and prevent the spread of fire. A common...

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Fire Safety Signs | Are yours up to date?

Posted: 10/10/2013 11:48

Fire safety signs have been a requirement in the UK for many years with the purpose of warning occupants of hazards and indicating safe exit routes and actions. 

The purpose of all fire safety signs is to reinforce fire safety awareness and provide accurate information to all persons within their place of work.  Escape routes should have clear and adequate markings indicating any necessary change in direction or hazards along the route.  They are also required to provide information on the identification or location of fire fighting equipment, or simply to warn occupants of hazards in case of a fire.

In the early 1990s, the European Union recognised the need to adopt a consistent approach to safety signage across all its member states and therefore implemented the Safety Signs Directive. The UK enforced this directive through the Health & Safety (Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.

These Regulations apply to all signs commissioned after the 1st April 1996, and included a transitional period for older approved signs...

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The value of portable fire extinguishers to your business | Part Two – Placing extinguishers and staff training

Posted: 25/09/2013 11:38

Part one, of this short series of two, looked at the identification of appropriate fire extinguishers when dealing with small fires in your restaurant, kitchens, public house or office. While it is essential that the correct extinguisher is selected and used for a fire, to avoid making the situation worse it is just as important that the extinguisher is located appropriately and that the person using it has been trained in doing so.

Location of Fire Extinguishers

In general, fire extinguishers should be located in groups at a fire point, and should be clearly identifiable.  Where there are identical floor layouts, it is prudent to site the extinguishers in the same position on each floor level, so that people travelling between floors will not become confused.  

In circumstances where extinguishers are located in an area hidden from direct view, adequate signage conforming to BS 5499 should be used to indicate the position of the extinguishers. The fire equipment signs prescribed are white print on a red background and should be accompanied by text...

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The value of portable fire extinguishers for your business | Part One – Legal requirements and suitability

Posted: 19/09/2013 16:17

Hand-held fire extinguishers, and people who have been trained in their use, are often the first line of defence against a possible fire safety disaster and their importance cannot be overstated. Fire prevention and fire safety can involve many elements of fire prevention equipment, but this simple and inexpensive form of protection has great value.

Portable fire extinguishers are a valuable and essential part of any building's fire safety strategy.  They have significant benefits to offer during the early stages of a fire when their portability and availability can enable an early, prompt response to an incident.  However, their effectiveness can be reduced if users are not trained in the correct selection and proper use of the equipment and in some cases, incorrect use of a fire extinguisher can cause the fire to spread and can endanger life.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, building owners and occupiers of premises to which people have access are obliged to provide suitable fire fighting equipment and to ensure that each appliance is properly maintained, immediately...

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