Fires can occur due to a number of causes -- from gas leaks to electrical malfunction. They can cause extensive damage to a workplace and disrupt the flow of business.
Over 70% of businesses involved in a major fire either do not reopen, or subsequently fail within 3 years of fire. Fire protection surveys are conducted in order to determine whether a building is reasonably safe from potential fire hazards. It is absolutely necessary to carry these surveys out.
Here’s what you need to know about them.
It is legally binding to carry out fire protection surveys
In English and Wales , it is statutory under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order to carry out Fire Risk Assessments to identify, manage and reduce the risk of fire. Fire Protection Surveys .. A Fire Protection Survey will take the findings of the Fire Risk Assessment and develop a robust plan of works required throughout the property. The Fire Protection surveys are necessary to ensure the employees of a company are safe from any impending dangers of fire. The same applies to residents of a building or an apartment complex.
What happens in a fire protection survey?
The person responsible for carrying out fire protection surveys checks the building for fire safety equipment installed in appropriate areas, such as on ceilings. They take necessary precautions by accounting for any children and elderly or the physically impaired. They are also responsible for reviewing and updating the fire protection survey as required.
Take children and elderly into account
The person responsible for the fire protection survey should be able to make special considerations for children and the elderly or the physically impaired. These individuals may find it difficult to know and evacuate the building in time in the event of a fire. The evacuation plan of the building should include measures to ensure the safety of children, elderly and the physically challenged or impaired.
- Remove potential Hazards
- Suppose the individual(s) responsible for the fire protection surveys:
- Finds any objects blocking the fire escape route
- Notices an absence of firefighting equipment
- Notices an object that may cause a fire (Potential Fire Hazard).
They are supposed to:
- remove those fire hazards or dispose of them safely
- make the escape rote clearer, define the route clearly if there is a lack of signs marking the route
- place firefighting equipment like a fire hose or a fire extinguisher where needed
Keeping a physical/digital record
There must be a physical and/or digital record of the findings from the fire protection surveys for future reference. This is especially true for a company. It should have the details of all potential fire hazards and measures to rectify those hazards. The evacuation plan should be made and copies should be distributed to the staff of the building. Alarm checks and fire drills are also to be performed to have the people of the company or apartment building ready in case a fire breaks out.
Who should carry out the fire protection survey?
The owner of the building complex usually performs these surveys but that is not always the case. It is wise to assign this work to someone who knows about the requirements of the survey and has carried out similar surveys in the past.
This is important because fire protection surveys have multiple individual components. To understand them fully and to look for problem areas is something that an experienced individual knows best how to do.