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If you’ve just bought your ultimate dream property in London, then it’s probably your pride and joy. You’re most likely already making decoration and design plans and can’t wait to fill it with all your furniture, trinkets and belongings before inviting all your friends and family around to show it off.
Similarly, if you’ve recently purchased a commercial property in London, you will be in the midst of business plans, removals procedures and the transfer of information.
However, before you go straight ahead and begin all of this, it’s worth checking to make sure that your property is completely fire safe to avoid any potential dangerous situations from occurring. In a commercial environment, it is a legal requirement to conduct a fire risk assessment – in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order – and private homes can also hugely benefit from a fire safety assessment before you move in.
So we’ve put together some simple fire risk assessment steps that you can easily follow. This will highlight the things you should be aware of and look out for to make sure your new London property stays in beautiful condition and free from any fire hazards.
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As the fire triangle taught us at school, fire is created when heat, fuel and oxygen come together. So in your property you need to think about how a fire could start, given the items you have in your surroundings.
If you have any heaters, naked flames, electrical equipment, cigarettes, matches etc., then make sure they are kept well away from mixing with items such as; excess packaging, nail varnish, furniture, anything made from plastic, wood or paper, as this would bring together the source of ignition and fuel that will most definitely start a fire.
People at risk
Think about the type of people in the property. If it’s your home, then you’ll know how easy it will be for them to evacuate as you’ll already be aware of their needs and capabilities. However, if this is a business, then you won’t always know who will be on the premises or what sort of needs they may have – for instance, if they are elderly or disabled. So make sure you have a designated fire warden to help escort those who need assistance safely out of the property.
Evaluate the situation and then act on it
Now you’re aware of the sort of things that you need to look out for in your property, take another look around and identify any exact hazardous situations – for instance, a lit candle underneath long curtains or an electric heater with clothes drying on it. Think how you would act on these and reduce any risk of fire by removing the source of heat away from anything that could burn.
Plan and train
If your property is commercial, then it’s worth keeping a record of any fire hazards that you identify and remove.
You should also make sure you know what to do in case a fire does occur. Make sure you have appropriate fire extinguishers in your property and you know how to use them safely and efficiently. Also test your fire alarms regularly as batteries do need replacing in them.
If your property is for commercial use, then make sure all colleagues are trained and prepared to know what to do in the event of a fire, including how to raise the alarm and where the assembly point is.
Make sure you review this process fairly regularly, as new hazards can enter the propertyover time and situations can soon change. For instance, new staff may join the business and will need to be trained on fire procedures.
If you follow these few simple fire risk assessment procedures, your lovely London property and all its new furnishings and finishing touches will hopefully remain safe and protected from the threat of fire, with all fire hazards removed and logged. Additionally, and more importantly, the people who live or work within it will also be as safe and protected as possible, reducing the devastation a fire in your home or commercial building can cause.
For more information on any aspect of fire safety and to discuss a fire risk assessment in your London property, get in touch with the professionals at Elite Fire London today.