Some statistics

Fire services of the UK attend around 500,000 incidents a year, that is more than 1,300 per day.

The majority of calls are false alarms; however, roughly 16,000 fires occur in workplaces or areas where people gather. That’s approximately 40 fires per day.

Reading the newspapers you will see that all different types of property may be affected by fire with varied and different sources of ignition – a lightning strike as happened at York Minster, careless disposal of smoking materials setting fire to waste bins as happens every day or deliberate starting of fires to conceal other crimes.

Modern buildings are designed with in-built fire protection which is there for the benefit of the occupants. However, if you were to walk round a workplace how many doors would you find wedged open, held open by a fire extinguisher or not accessible because the means of escape is temporarily blocked as has been used for storage?

If you asked a premises managers with the responsibility for fire safety how they would react if someone removed the fire door completely, they would remark how dangerous it would be and someone would be held to account. A wedged-open fire door may as well be missing.

Actions can be taken to reduce the risk of fires in the workplace as well as reduce the impact of those fires. It is all about everyone taking responsibility and not becoming a statistic.

Regular workplace fire safety checks and maintenance of systems and equipment are essential fire prevention measures.