5 tips for world health and safety at work day

In support of World Health and Safety at Work Day, we’re sharing our top 5 tips to help you manage the fire safety aspect of your organisation’s health and safety. Whether you’re a facilities manager, a business owner or a health and safety professional, you’ll find something to improve your workplace heath and safety.

1. Find out what you don’t know about your building

This might seem a strange one but as the old saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know, until you don’t know it. So how can you find out what you don’t know?

When it comes to fire safety, we’ve created a fire risk blind spot calculator to help you identify the blind spots in your fire safety knowledge for four key areas. You can complete the calculator for free and based on your results, we’ll provide you with useful resources to help improve your knowledge.

Complete the blind spot calculator


2. Always seek to improve your fire safety competence and, know the limits of your competence

If you are responsible for the fire safety of your premises, you should always seek to improve your knowledge and your overall competence in fire safety. This could be through attending some of our free webinars and/or events, subscribing to our e-newsletter to stay in the know on legislation changes and industry updates. Or talk to your employer about more formal training to increase your knowledge in key areas.

For example, our Passive Fire Safety Foundation training course is a one-day module which will equip you with a complete understanding of features, regulation, installation and maintenance of your premises. It won’t make you an expert, and you don’t need to be. But you do need to recognise when an expert is needed and to know what an expert looks like.

Places from £220 + VAT, find out more.

3. Make sure your organisation has a fire strategy in place
A fire strategy does not have to be a complex document, but it does need to be specifically tailored to the premises. In simple terms it is essentially an action plan should a fire occur and works in conjunction with your fire risk assessment to improve your overall business resilience.

While this is not a legal requirement, the strategy or action plan is intended to allow you to keep your staff and customers safe and get back to business as usual as fast as possible. For more complex premises the strategy could involve reviewing all aspects of the building’s fire safety features including construction, compartmentation strategy, means of escape and other fire safety features/measures.

Read more about fire strategy documents


4. Ensure your fire protection systems are suitably maintained

If your building has a fire alarm system, it must be tested regularly to ensure it performs as intended in the event of a fire. For example, the alarm must be tested once each week, but it should also receive periodic inspections and servicing to ensure there are no underlying faults.

Read or full guidance on fire alarm testing and maintenance

Similarly, if you have a fire sprinkler system, there are different tests that must be carried out weekly, monthly, quarterly, six monthly and annually to ensure it functions as intended should a fire occur. Some of these maintenance tests can be carried out in-house but others, such as the annual inspection must be carried out by an independent third party.

Read our fire sprinkler maintenance and testing guidance


5. If your business handles dangerous substances, make sure there is a DSEAR risk assessment in place

DSEAR stands for dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres regulation and is in place to protect employees from fire and explosion risks related to dangerous substances and atmospheres in the workplace.

These assessments should only be undertaken by an assessor who is competent to do so and will work with your organisation to put control measures in place to remove or reduce the risks. Examples of dangerous substances include but are not limited to solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, dust from machining and sanding and substances corrosive to metal.

Download our guide to DSEAR risk assessments

Now you know our top 5 tips for world health and safety at work day, we hope you found them helpful. To stay in the know on all things fire safety, gain access to exclusive resources, events and discounts on training and publications, become an FPA member today. You don’t need to meet any criteria other than a desire to improve your fire safety knowledge. Join today.