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fire risk assessment

5 steps in fire risk assessment in our workplace

5 steps in fire risk assessment in our workplace.

Fire risk assessment is a significant topic in fire safety. There was an article I wrote on the fire triangle where I listed out the three things that must be present for a fire to start.

We use fire in our various homes and our workplaces for purposes like heating and welding and to a greater extent, its as vital as air.

However, uncontrolled and emergency fires are hazardous and can result in so many destructions of lives and properties.

Most noteworthy, I will be looking at a fire risk assessment in our workplace.

The methodology can apply to our homes and every other place we have a risk of fire hazard. Safety does not start and stop in our workplace, but it extends to our homes.

 

In this article, I will be telling you the five basic step methodology for fire risk assessment.

These five steps will help you to conduct, plan, and execute your fire risk assessment very efficiently in your workplace and in any place you want to further its application.

Now let’s look at the various steps.

1. Identify fire hazards.

In this step, Identification of fire hazards is what you will do. You have to look at the sources of fuel, sources of ignition, and sources of oxygen. These three things are what we call a fire triangle.

They must be present for a fire to start. Removal of any one of them when there is fire puts it out.

Sources of fuel in the workplace include paper, packaging materials, and furniture. You’ve to consider the location, types, and the amount of various fuel present at the workplace. Someplace may contain solvents, fuel, or gases that are flammable.

Sources of ignition are hot work activities like grinding, welding, cutting, and heat from electrical equipment.

Sources of oxygen include oxygen cylinders and oxidizing agents. It increases the risk of fire starting and the severity of the fire.

Read More on Three Fire key Elements.

 

2. Identify the people who might be at risk.

In this step, you have to consider the people that might be affected by the fire when it happens in the workplace.

These people might be the employees, contractors working on your site, members of the public, or visitors to your workplace. The number of people that would be affected should be taking into consideration here.

Other people may be vulnerable or be more at risk during any fire emergencies. They include the lone workers –those people working alone as a result of the nature of their work, for example, cleaners in the workplace.

Workers who are working in an isolated environment like confined space. Disabled persons In a wheelchair, children, and toddlers in their schools and older adults in a care home.

3. Evaluate, identify, and implement the fire precaution in the workplace.

You’ve to evaluate, identify, and implement the precautions to the risk of a fire in the workplace.

Most of all, you have to factor in the potential fuel and ignition sources. The methods by which the fire might spread in the workplace.

And the nature of smoke or flame that will come from the fire.

The travel path of the fire has to be considered. And also, consider the structure of the building which will determine its resistance to fire.

Having done this, precaution and preventive measures have to follow.

You’ve to consider the ways of minimizing the risk of a fire occurring through fire prevention means –and the measures to detect the fire through a fire alarm.

You consider evacuation time and prevention of the speed of smoke and flames. Having a means of escape is essential with adequate signs and notices and lightning on the escape route. And the Provision of firefighting equipment such as portable extinguishers.

 

4. Record, Plan, Instruct and Train the employees.

 

In this step, You record the significant findings while carrying out the risk assessment. And from this point, You create the fire emergency plan. And it is used in educating the employees on what to do in case of a fire emergency.

In the fire emergency plan. It’ll contain emergency procedures for who and who takes responsibility when the fire happens.

 

It does not end here; Proper training has to commence with education to workers on fire safety including fire prevention and emergency plan.

Read More on Welfare Facilities in our Workplace-What the Nigeria Factory law says about it.

 

5. Review of the risk assessment.

 

This is the last step in the fire risk assessment. Here, we do review to ensure that the document stays relevant and suitable for use.

Some factors will encourage the review of fire risk assessment like when there are significant changes that might affect fire safety. 

for example, when there is an introduction of combustible material in the workplace.

And also, when you had a fire emergency, and you want to make sure that all precautions are working. And for a Periodic review to ensure that nothing is missing in the fire risk assessment document.

Conclusion,

Fire risk assessment is very vital in any workplace. As a safety officer or any member of the management.

And having a well-defined fire risk assessment document will help you in your action towards fire emergencies.

Most times, we conduct an informal risk assessment without our knowledge. Formal ones have to be on paper.

When a driver wants to negotiate a car with an oncoming vehicle. He thinks in his mind the actions to take to ensure safe overtaking, It is risk assessment but in an informal way.

If you have not done anything for your company or organization on fire risk assessment. This is the right time to do it. Also, remember it is part of legal requirements.

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