Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, lots of business are closed at the moment, especially those in the hospitality and fitness sectors, like hotels, campsites and gyms. One way you could be using this time productively to help your business is to review your fire safety procedures and processes. A lot of these systems are easier to access, service or review when your business is closed, so now is a great time to get it sorted.
Plus, it’ll help you keep your customers as safe as possible when everything’s back open. It’s really worth taking the time to think about fire safety when your business is closed. Plus, this advice works whether you’re closed due to the pandemic, or if you’re shut due to seasonality, or indeed for various other reasons! No matter the reason for business downtime, it’s an ideal opportunity to look at the fire safety of your premises.
Here are our 5 ways you could be using business downtime to improve your fire safety.
1. Get your fire extinguishers serviced
It’s a legal requirement to undergo annual fire extinguisher inspections, so now is a great time to do so if you can, in order to avoid any disruption to your customers.
Fire extinguishers can become less effective if they’re not tested or inspected for too long. It’s essential to check that your fire safety equipment is in working order by getting it tested and serviced.
2. Check your fire blankets and fire buckets
One piece of fire safety kit which often gets installed and forgotten about is fire blankets. If you own a holiday let, for example, there’s a good chance you have a fire blanket in the kitchen area. These should also undergo an annual check, alongside your fire extinguishers.
If either your fire extinguishers or fire blankets are over five years old, it’s time to replace them.
And don’t forget your fire buckets. Often found in areas like car parks, or communal barbecue areas on your campsite, these simple buckets of sand can be invaluable in tackling a small fire, but all too often they end up filled with cigarette butts and other litter. Now is a good time to check your buckets are still there and replace the sand.
3. Check that you’ve got the right fire extinguishers for your premises
Alongside checking that your existing extinguishers are functioning properly, when your business is closed it’s also a good time to take stock and check if you’ve got the right extinguishers for your needs.
If the equipment you use for your business has changed recently, or even if the building or premises has altered, you may need to get different extinguishers. This is because different fire extinguishers are better suited for certain uses and may be a requirement if you’ve got specific materials or equipment in the building.
For example, Lith-ex fire extinguishers are ideal if you’ve got lithium-ion batteries on the premises. With this type of batteries becoming a lot more common in consumer technology, including electric vehicles, it’s a good time to think about adding them to your fire extinguisher provision.
4. Make sure your sprinkler system is working correctly
If your building is equipped with a sprinkler system, like many hotels and gyms, it’s a good idea to test and service it while your premises is empty. It’s far easier for servicing professionals to get the access that they need at the moment.
It’s vital for your business insurance policy to have your sprinkler system regularly serviced and checked. Now is a great time to get this out of the way and sorted for another year.
At Fire Control Services, when we inspect a sprinkler system, we also check the linked alarms and other fire safety systems – making this the ideal opportunity to give your building a proper fire safety once-over.
5. Review other fire safety procedures to ensure you meet legislation
When you’re starting to look at re-opening after a period of business downtime, it’s a good idea to take the time to review all of your fire safety procedures and processes. This includes things like gather points as well as checking all signage and alarm systems are operational and follow best practices.
It’s also a good time to double check up-to-date fire safety legislation to ensure that you meet its requirements and are keeping your customers safe.
There you go – 5 reasons why it’s a good idea to use periods of business downtime to boost your fire safety.
Fire safety might not be the most exciting thing to be spending time thinking about – and we know that a lot of businesses have a lot of other worries right now. But, it’s essential that you do take the time to ensure you’re making your guests as safe as possible. Then, when you re-open and are able to welcome your customers back onto your premises, you’ll have peace of mind that you’re keeping everybody safe.
If you’re looking for a partner to help you with your fire safety needs, speak to Fire Control Services. We’re the experts in testing and servicing all kinds of fire safety systems, from sprinklers to dry risers, and we can help you ensure you’ve got the right types of fire extinguishers on your premises. Just click here to get in touch.