If you own or manage any type of commercial property then much of the responsibility to ensure it is safe falls on your shoulders, which is why one of your tasks, if you have not already done so, will be to speak to your local fire services company. They will be able to advise you on the regulations regarding fire safety and what the minimal requirements are with regards to fire protection equipment on the premises.
Of course, you always have the option to go above and beyond the minimum requirements and invest in additional fire safety and protection equipment. Not only does this greatly increase the fire safety levels in your premises, but as an employer, it demonstrates that you take the welfare of your employers seriously.
There is a long list of possible options, so we must stress that the ones we highlight are merely our suggestions and do not constitute any kind of definite regulatory advice or minimum legal requirement, both of which you must ascertain for yourself with regards to the commercial premises you are responsible for.
The type of property and the commercial activity which takes place will determine which types of fire extinguishers you need, and in particular what is necessary for the materials that are predominant inside those premises. As a minimum, you will have a red-banded water extinguisher which is suitable for most fires involving paper and wood.
You might choose to expand the types of fire extinguishers to include a Black Co2 extinguisher for electrical fires, and also the number of extinguishers, especially if the property has more than one room.
There are lots of locations where having a fire blanket might be more logical than others such as those where there are elderly or infirm people whose movement is limited and thus will take more time to escape. However, given that they can literally save someone’s life should they become engulfed in flames, it makes sense to have them in any location so that those in need can be quickly helped.
The quicker a fire can be tackled the more chance there is that any damage it causes will be limited and crucially, more lives will be saved. That is why having at least one smoke detector in every room within your commercial premises makes perfect sense. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and apart from replacing their batteries occasionally, are maintenance-free.
Fire Alarm System
For larger and more comprehensive properties a fire alarm system might often be mandatory, but there is nothing to stop owners of smaller commercial properties from also having a fire alarm system installed. These can have multiple detection points, can activate fire sprinkler systems, can send a signal to the fire department directly, and most importantly, can produce loud, audible alerts throughout the premises so that everyone knows to exit them as soon as possible.
Although a sign is not going put out a fire, it can be the difference between a fire being dealt with quickly and everyone exiting safely, and not, which obviously could mean injuries and fatalities. Proper signage with regards to evacuation routes, fire exits, fire safety equipment, and fire safety procedures all contribute to the overall fire protection levels you have within your commercial property.