Fire Safety Advice
The following guidance notes have been taken from and are available to view and download for free on the NIFRS website from fireSAFE, in the Guidance Documents section.
Section 1 Guidance on Fire Risks and Preventative Measures:
BUSINESS PREMISES: Common causes of fire
– Is a source of heat and a frequent cause of fire in buildings. Some
contributing factors are the misuse of electrical equipment and poor maintenance.
With the increasing number of electrical appliances we use, consideration of the
need for additional sockets or upgrading of electrical circuits may be necessary, an
annual inspection of the electrical system by a competent electrician will help to
identify any areas of concern. Inspection of electrical equipment should reveal
• It is installed and maintained correctly.
• Sockets and extension cables are overloaded.
• The correct fuses are used.
Ensuring electrical equipment is switched off and unplugged when not in use will
assist to reduce the risk of fire occurring.
– When left to accumulate in the workplace, could not only increase the
chance of fire occurring, it may assist a fire to spread throughout the premises a lot
quicker. Adopt a good housekeeping regime to ensure rubbish is taken out of the
premises as quickly and as often as possible and contained within lidded metal bins.
Ensure external rubbish bins are sited away from buildings reducing the risk of a fire
spreading to the building and ensure that they do not obstruct either your escape
routes or those of neighbouring premises.
– Careless disposal of smoking materials is a major cause of fire.
Implementation of a smoking policy could ensure:
• People only smoke in designated areas.
• Provision of non-combustible and substantial ashtrays.
• Daily disposal of the content of ashtrays into a non-combustible waste
receptacle ensuring that all debris is fully extinguished first.
• End of day checks or checks before leaving rooms which will be unoccupied
for long periods (people may be sleeping) are undertaken.
– If placed near furniture or combustible materials can start a fire. Ensure
that they are positioned carefully and used appropriately. Keep boiler houses clear
of accumulations of combustible materials and avoid using them as an extra
storeroom. If you have open fires in your premises, never use flammable liquids to
light them, always have them securely guarded and sweep chimneys twice per year
or more if wood is burned.
– Most correction, duplicator fluids and most aerosols are
flammable and aerosols can explode if they become too hot and must be kept well
away from any heat sources. The careful use and storage of any flammable liquid or
gas is essential to maintain a safe working environment.
Deliberate Fire Setting
– Help protect your premises by securing any combustible
waste in an appropriate receptacle and locking away any flammable liquids or gases.
Considering the potential problem of deliberate fire setting is an important aspect
and is one that should not be underestimated as it is not only a major cause of fire
but frequently a problem when the premises are unoccupied. End of day checks to
ensure all windows and doors are secure can help to manage the risk of arson.