A whopping 45 percent of regional businesses have admitted they don’t have a fire extinguisher onsite, leading experts to urge SMEs to review their fire safety procedures for the protection of their business and staff.
A study by Wormald found too many businesses haven’t given enough thought to their fire safety measures, and according to John Lynch, many businesses are struck by fire and a lack of basic equipment means serious damage can occur.
“No matter what size your business, fire protection equipment and systems should be considered an important safety measure.”
“It can take years to build up a business, but it can all be lost in a short time if a fire occurs. We are encouraging business owners to take responsibility by assessing their existing fire safety equipment and systems and making improvements where necessary.”
When purchasing portable fire equipment, Wormald suggests following the following steps to ensure your business is properly protected:
- Assess potential fire hazards around your office and identify the fire protection products you require;
- Take some time to research the products available and make sure you select the right ones that carry the correct approval;
- Ensure you position your equipment in accordance with applicable regulations e.g. Building Code of Australia or local fire services requirements;
- Train all employees on how to use portable fire equipment; and
- To ensure optimal performance, have your equipment regularly inspected and maintained in accordance with applicable standards and regulations. You should also seek advice from a fire protection specialist.
Businesses also need to put in place sound fire detection and evacuation procedures, because in the event of a fire, employees rely on the direction of management.
“By not having an evacuation procedure in place, business owners are putting their staff and property at potential risk. It is not only vital to have a procedure in place but it should be practiced regularly to ensure everyone is as prepared as possible.”