31 July 2008.Fire safety is an essential component of building safety. It is concerned with safety measures for preventing fire initiation, growth or minimizing fire effects in an occurrence of a fire. In the United Kingdom, 500 deaths every year occur from fire and the greater number occurs in residential premises. The damages and loss caused by fire in commercial premises are severe and dangerous. Fire safety in a commercial premise is important in reducing loss and damage of property as well as loss of life. Inadequate fire safety measures in any premises therefore can be very destructive and deadly. Elements of fire safety in commercial premisesThere are certain key elements that can be applied in commercial premises and residential premises, which can help in fire safety.
Among these elements include; Building or constructing a facility in a building according to the version of the local building code available at the building time. Maintaining of facilities available for fire safety. One should also conduct him or her self in accordance with the provision of the premises fire code after occupying the building.
The owner should ensure that all the occupants and operators of the premise are aware of the applicable regulations that should be followed. The occupants should not exceed the maximum occupancy in any part of the building, which will help to reduce fire risk and enhance safety in case of fire occurrence. They should also maintain good fire exits and signs, which are appropriate to work in absence of power. The occupancies of the commercial premises should place and maintain fire extinguishers in appropriate points for easy accessibility. The occupants should prohibit the storage of flammable materials at some points in the building.
This is avoided at the exit points and at vulnerable places in the building such as kitchen. The owners of the premise should also ensure that there is regular inspection of the building and facilities for violation of regulations. The relevant authorities should also issue orders to comply with all occupants in the building. Failure to comply with this order leads to the closure of the building until necessary measures are taken. Fire alarm systems should be installed and maintained for fire detection and warnings within the facility. A complete fire stops inventory should be obtained and maintained in the buildings. Fireproofing spray should remain undamaged. High level training and awareness of fire safety measures to all occupants Building regulations and fire riskThe United Kingdom government legislation of 2006 demands all business premises to have a fire risk assessment that will enhance fire risk assessment and reduction measures in the business premises.
Unlike in the past where the fire safety systems in the UK depended upon certificates proved that a premise was safe or not, the shift in legislation focuses mostly on the fire reduction risks in the work place.
It is therefore the duly responsibility of the person who has been deemed responsible for the business premise such as a manager to ensure that the building has the necessary fire safety measures. This is to ensure that the workers inhabiting the premise are safe in a day-to-day basis.