Is your business protected against fire?

Without upgrades such as fire shutter doors, the damage caused by a blaze can have devastating consequences for businesses of any size.

This can result in the loss of assets, causing serious disruption to the short and long-term operation of a company and having an adverse effect on customers.

Thankfully, advancement in fire prevention methods such as fire doors and shutters mean the spread of fire can be better managed than ever before, whilst legislation surrounding fire prevention continues to improve.

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Here we discuss some key factors for preventing fire on business premises, and precautions to take in case the worst happens.

Fire Safety

Your company is legally obliged to follow health and safety regulations, and fire prevention figures prominently in those guidelines.

Responsibility to adhere to those rules falls to a number of parties including the business owner and the owner/landlord of the premises the company operates from. The business should also have personnel in place to oversee safety on site, such as a Facilities Manager, Building Manager or Risk Assessor.

Assessment and Awareness

To make sure the business and your employees are aware of safety procedure and potential fire hazards, the appointed safety officials should carry out a regular assessment of the premises and review it on a bi-monthly basis.

Once in place, it is the responsibility of all staff to maintain appropriate fire safety measures and to understand and practice the drill in the case of an emergency. Staff should also be provided with information, fire safety instruction and training in relation to fire hazard.

Precautions

When fire does occur, especially outside of business hours, there are now a number of ways to suppress the spread and minimise damage.

Most modern commercial buildings now have sprinkler systems and fire doors installed, but it is the emergence of improved fire shutter doors that now play a leading role in preventing the spread of fire, with insulated fire proof shutter doors capable of withstanding intense heat for up to 4 hours.

Fire shutter doors systems such as our ‘Fire Stopper Insulated Fire shutter’ offer a ground-breaking twin skin steel lath construction that offers up to a 96% radiant reduction. This means that combustible materials can be stored 500mm away from a 1250 °C fire increasing floor space and reducing the risk of fire spread.

If you would like to find out more about protecting your business premises from fire damage, call us today on 0121 565 6165.

Fire Prevention for Schools

Following on from last week’s Fire Door Safety Week, this month we’re discussing fire prevention methods for schools. Whilst the number of deaths in school fires is thankfully very small, between 2000 and 2005 there were approximately 8,000 fires on school premises. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/276389/buildingbulletin100_onlineversion.pdf) With less than half of these fires being caused accidentally, the biggest cause of school fires is arson.

The economic cost of a fire in a school is huge. Repercussions can include:

• the cost of having to hire temporary accommodation whilst the section of the school is rebuilt
• the cost to replace teaching aids
• loss of facilities for the community
• loss of coursework and personal property belonging to staff and students
• the implications of the number of pupil applications to the school in the subsequent years

Fire Safety Training

One of the key ways to prevent a fire from starting, is to educate and train members of staff in fire prevention and management. Schools have a legal responsibility to carry out risk assessments so as to identify key hazardous areas. These can be carried out by a trained member of staff or a member of the local fire brigade. For example, boxes of paper surrounding a photocopier are a prime target for a fire to ignite, due to the heat given off by a photocopier when in constant daily use, and the fact that paper is fuel for a fire. Staff should take care to identify alternative areas to store high volumes of paper, and the area surrounding the photocopier should be free from clutter.

Fire Detection Systems

It goes without saying that a fully operational fire detection system should be installed within all areas of a school, and should also be tested regularly. Many fires start during the school day, and it is vital that every member of staff and all pupils are fully aware and well-practised in evacuating the school building in a calm but swift manner. All alarms and fire detection methods should be tested regularly.

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Fire Shutter Doors

Inevitably, the school kitchen is one of the prime areas within a school with a high fire risk. It therefore pays to have adequate methods in place to prevent a fire from spreading beyond the kitchen and throughout the school. Industrial fire shutters are becoming common place in school canteens, as a fire should remain contained within the kitchen and be prevented from spreading any further. At UK Rapid Door Systems we offer a range of high quality Fire Stopper fire shutter doors which are well suited for use in schools. With the ability to resist a fire for up to 240 minutes, the doors are designed to contain a fire until the emergency services can arrive.

To find out more about our fire shutter doors, give our sales team a call on 0121 565 6165.