The run-up to Christmas can be an extremely busy period for many businesses: There’s the rush to get everything finished before the break and the excitement of Christmas parties to contend with! Often the last thing on people’s minds is checking that the business is safe from the risk of fire. However, if a fire were to break out and you weren’t adequately prepared, it could cause significant damage and disruption to the business. Here are a few tips to help you and your business stay safe over the festive period:
Have a Check List
You need to have a checklist of areas that all employees should be aware of. Over the festive period this might include extra items, including the risk of additional stock and the business being closed for a long period.
Keeping Stock Safe
Businesses, especially those in the retail sector, can have extra stock to store during the Christmas period. If the storage facilities are fairly small, this can result in boxes being stacked in corridors and staff areas. It’s vital that you take the fire risk into account and ensure that you’re not blocking escape routes with the boxes. You also need to check that suppression systems, such as fire curtains, are not prevented from operating correctly. It’s important to understand what’s stored inside the boxes, as combustible materials could potentially block exit routes if they ignite.
Check Fire Equipment
Businesses often have the appropriate fire protection equipment, including alarms and fire curtains, but they need to be checked regularly and properly maintained. This is particularly important if you’re going to be closed for an extended period over the holidays. Having a working alarm, sprinkler system or other form of fire suppression could make all the difference and enable you to get back to normal and start trading sooner if the worst was to happen.
Use Common Sense
When you’re decorating your office, ensure that you use some common sense and don’t go too overboard. It’s vital that you don’t overload plug sockets with Christmas lights, and if you’re using an extension lead, it must never exceed the maximum load. When you’re putting decorations up, check that they’re not too close to any potential fire hazards and don’t use any naked flames, including candles.
Even when you’re at work, Christmas can be a fun time of the year. However, whilst you’re enjoying yourself and getting ready for the party season, it’s essential that you don’t forget about the risk of fire and ensure that all your employees employ a degree of common sense and practicality.