In this article, we outline the top 10 fire safety tips for the home and workplace. Fires can start in seconds and spread through a building in minutes. The impact of a fire can be devastating – you can lose your home, business or even your life.
You should take measures to protect yourself, your family, your employees and your livelihood from the risk of fire.
Fire Safety in the Workplace and at Home
Fire-related incidents increased by 11% during the 2021–22 period. Of the 584,881 incidents reported to UK fire and rescue services (FRSs), some 154,772 were serious fires. There were 275 fire-related deaths and 6,192 non-fatal casualties in the UK during this time.
Take a few minutes to read the following fire safety tips for your home and workplace. The effort and time spent now could save lives and money if you experience a fire in future.
Top 10 Fire Safety Tips for the Home and the Workplace
And, although it isn’t outlined in legislation, (except in Scotland), UK homeowners are responsible for protecting their homes from fire.
1) Install Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors
Fire alarms and smoke detectors are essential fire protection devices. Smoke detectors will alert you immediately, if a fire does start, and give you time to safely evacuate the building.
It’s compulsory to have fire alarms and smoke detectors in all UK businesses, multi-story dwellings and homes in Scotland.
You should install a smoke detector on every level of your house or business. Interlink your smoke detectors so that if one is triggered, all the alarms will sound.
2) Have the Right Fire Safety Equipment
Make sure you have the right fire safety equipment and ensure that it’s within easy reach in high-risk areas. It’s recommended that you learn what different fire extinguishers (water, foam, CO2, wet chemical, dry powder) are used for and how you use them. Suitable extinguishers and fire blankets should be placed throughout the building. You should also have at least one fire extinguisher at home.
Certain multi-storey buildings and business premises must also install:
- Fire doors
- Fire sprinklers
- Fire hoses
- Emergency lighting
- Emergency signage
- Fire escape ladders
3) Test Your Fire Safety Equipment
All firefighting and fire prevention equipment must be inspected, checked and tested to ensure they are still in good working order. Be aware that the inspection requirements vary for different types of equipment. Some fire safety equipment must have a certified inspection, while others only need a regular visual check. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to perform inspections.
4) Learn What to Do if There is a Fire
Make sure that you, your employees and your family know exactly what to do if there is a fire. Develop an emergency plan and run regular practice drills. Emergency fire safety procedures, such as the Stop Drop and Roll method or staying low to avoid smoke, can save lives. These fire safety tips are essential knowledge for your children. If you become incapacitated in a fire, they could play a key role in saving your life as well as themselves.
5) Create an Effective Fire Evacuation Plan
Creating an evacuation plan is essential to fire safety. If a fire breaks out, all occupants must escape the building as soon as possible. In a residential property, choose a fire escape route and make sure all house inhabitants are aware of it, especially children.
Business properties and multi-storey dwellings must have marked evacuation routes. It’s advisable to consult with fire protection experts or your local fire authorities to ensure your escape plans will be effective in an emergency.
6) Regularly Perform a Fire Risk Assessment
The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to identify any potential risks and develop measures to eliminate or control those risks as far as is reasonably practicable. If you own a business or a property, regularly conducting a fire risk assessment is a legal requirement. A risk assessment is also a useful fire protection measure for homeowners.
There are five steps to performing a fire risk assessment:
- Identify any potential fire risks
- Determine who might be harmed and how they may be harmed
- Assess the risks and develop control measures
- Make a record of your findings
- Regularly review your fire risk assessment and update it if necessary
7) Keep High Fire Risk Areas Tidy
Fire only needs three elements to start: a source of ignition, oxygen, and a fuel source.
Keeping areas in your home or business clean and tidy can help you reduce the fire risk. Ensure all goods, materials, or chemicals are stored properly to avoid the build-up of a large fire load. A fire load is the combustible items in a building that could contribute to a fire. Clear living and work areas also make accessing escape routes easier if a fire breaks out.
8) Appoint a Fire Warden
All workplaces should have at least one designated fire warden. A fire warden handles all fire safety measures, checks fire safety equipment and assists in the evacuation of the building if there’s a fire.
In the home, appointing a fire warden can ensure that younger children or elderly relatives evacuate the house in an emergency. If an older child or teenager has fire warden responsibilities they feel involved in the fire protection process. It will make sure that everyone follows the correct procedures if an adult is not present and a fire happens.
9) Always be Aware of the Risk of Fire
Fires can happen at any time, regardless of how careful you are. To minimise the risk of fire, you should always be aware of fire risks and take precautions to eliminate or minimise them. Teach your children these fire safety tips so they engage in the prevention of fire within your home. It’s the knowledge that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.
10) Take a Fire Safety Training Course
Fire safety training can help you to protect your business, employees, home and family.
Employers must, by law, provide fire safety training for their employees. All employees nominated as fire wardens must have additional fire safety and first aid training to perform their duties.
Fire safety training is also recommended for families. By taking a fire safety course, you can be sure that you and your children are aware of fire risks in your home and know what to do if an emergency arises.
Information on how to prepare a fire emergency evacuation plan (FEEP) and what residents of multi-storey dwellings need to know about fire doors is also available. Fire safety training teaches you how to prepare an effective fire safety plan, protect yourself and keep others safe during a fire and use firefighting equipment properly.
Where to Find Fire Safety Training
Under UK fire safety legislation, business owners and property owners must provide their employees with fire safety training. It’s also highly recommended for homeowners and their families.
We provide fire safety training for all levels of the workforce in various industry sectors. Our Fire Safety Awareness Training course teaches you skills to keep your workplace and colleagues safe.
Fire safety training gives you the knowledge and skills to protect your family in an emergency, as well. At the very least, make sure you action each of these fire safety tips – it could save you so much in the event of a fire.