Every year in the U.K. alone in excess of 600 people die in fires and the Fire Services attended some 592,300 fires. The national cost is now in excess of £185m. Home Office fire statistics showed that in 2003/4, 612 persons died, Injuries resulting from fires fell by 4% to 15,600, of even more concern is the fact that 70% of businesses involved in a major fire either closed or failed within 3 years. Few people will experience the effects of a fire and even fewer will be personally involved in one. Fire continues to be one of the most destructive, disruptive and costly occurrences that affect our businesses, homes and lives.
All fires are caused, they do not just happen, and they result from acts of carelessness or a lack of knowledge or awareness of the hazards and implications. The very fact that a business has prepared a fire safety Management Plan and taken appropriate steps to ensure the safety of its workforce is in self not enough. Fire must be taken seriously by all who work together, it may happen at any time; fire safety needs to be part of the workplace culture in the same way as any other business process. Fire safety needs to be seen by all as a team activity and all employees and management must play their joint part in managing and controlling fire.
This is best achieved by cascading the responsibility through the Fire Safety Manager to each floor, department or other work area using an effective web of communications and sound fire safety training.
Part of your Fire Safety measures may well include the provision for Portable Appliance Testing and Emergency Light Testing.