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 whether:

• 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.

Dangerous Goods

– 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.