Basic fire safety measures that can go a long way.
The World Health Organization estimates that about 180,000 people die from fires every year. Couple this with the fact that bushfires are quite common in Australia and it’s easy to see why it’s so important to employ Essential Fire Safety Measures (EFSM) like fire safety audits and put safety precautions in place to reduce risks.
Why Is Fire Safety So Important?
All Australian buildings must have their fire and safety hazards measures in place by law and fire safety should be everyone’s responsibility in a building – just because you’re away from a potential bushfire doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful. Always have essential fire safety measures in place or, better still, let a fire auditor have a look for you.
8 Essential Fire Safety Measures (EFSM) That Reduce Fire Risk
A building cannot be considered safe if it has none of the essential fire safety measures (EFSM). A fire can start at any time and place, so fire safety should always be second nature to everyone involved. To be truly prepared, here are eight essential fire safety measures to always keep in mind:
- Install smoke alarms.
- Be aware of all the fire hazards in the vicinity.
- Have all the necessary fire safety equipment.
- Make sure everyone knows how to use the fire safety equipment.
- Fire safety training is crucial.
- Have a proper fire evacuation plan.
- Signs can be quite helpful.
- Fire safety audits are necessary
1. Install Smoke Alarms and Adhere to Requirements
Smoke alarms are among the most basic fire safety measures required in buildings and residences. Simple but effective, these devices are indispensable and must always remain in good working order.
Please note that there are also different requirements regarding smoke alarms depending on the building. These are:
All storeys of the house should have at least one smoke alarm. These should be placed close to bedrooms, while multiple devices are recommended for separate sleeping quarters. Also, attics and basements should be outfitted with a smoke detector.
For residential buildings
A smoke alarm should be present in every storey of the residential building. Each unit must have a smoke alarm, and both landlords and tenants should regularly maintain these.
At least one smoke alarm should be present inside the motorhome. Install these close to where the sleeping area is.
It is vital to take note that smoke alarms are only as effective as their placement and functionality. So, ensure that these devices are placed strategically and are always in good working order. If there are doubts, hire a fire auditor for a consult.
2. Be Aware of All Fire Hazards In The Vicinity
All buildings, commercial areas, and homes have fire hazards. These hazards must always be properly identified, marked, and under constant watch. Most importantly, all residents and workers must know how to respond if these hazards catch fire. Examples of fire hazards to watch out for are:
- Stoves and other cooking equipment
- Gas tanks
- Appliances that are prone to heating up
- Faulty cables and wires
3. Purchase All Necessary Fire Safety Equipment
Fire safety equipment should always be available in the residence or building. It’s not enough to have the equipment at hand; these should also be strategically placed. For instance, a fire extinguisher tank must be present and close to a known fire hazard.
4. Teach All staff About Fire Safety Equipment Use
It’s not enough to have the safety equipment in strategic placements around the building or home. These items are useless if no one knows how to use them, so ensure that everyone knows how to use the equipment. For commercial establishments, all employees must be well-trained in safety equipment use.
5. Training, Training, Training
As said earlier, everyone needs to be involved in fire safety by knowing how to use fire safety equipment, but it is safer to go for the entire fire safety routine to make things as safe as possible. Some important things to include in fire safety training are:
- Proper equipment usage
- Hazard evaluation
- Proper practices in evacuation
- First aid
6. Create A Proper Fire Evacuation Plan
No matter how much people prepare, fires can still get severely out of hand, which is why it’s crucial to have a proper fire evacuation plan.
These evacuation plans should mark and outline the paths that people can take toward safety. The plan should include the following details:
The floor plan of the evacuation path should be clear, and the paths properly marked.
All illustrations in the evacuation plan should be clear and properly labelled.
Layout and text
The layout should not be elaborate; the text should be short and concise.
The plans must be displayed in visible areas and strategically placed around the building.
The map must mark where the reader currently is in the building.
Following these guidelines in an evacuation plan can help everyone have an easier time during an emergency. A fire safety audit can also help make this plan more effective.
7. Signage Can Be Life Saving
For commercial spaces and residential buildings, signs are necessary for informing people of safety procedures. Place these signs in visible spaces and make sure that they’re readable and well-maintained. Don’t underestimate what signs can do in an emergency.
8. Fire Safety Audits Are Necessary
To make sure that all measures are in good order, a fire safety audit is necessary. This is an excellent move, especially since you will be enlisting the help of a professional. A fire auditor can look through all safety gaps and make any building safe.
Complete a Fire Safety Audit for Essential Fire Safety Measures
An experienced fire auditor can help in crafting effective safety measures. If you believe that you can benefit from this, why not hire one of the best fire audit teams you can get?
Adair Fire Audits & Certification offers the services of licensed EFSM auditors who are experienced, trustworthy, and are excellent at what they do. Learn more about us by clicking here. Alternatively, call us on (02) 8004 5142 to speak with a representative or fill out this contact form and we’ll get right back to you.
EFSM information Sources:
Fire and Rescue New South Wales: What is the law? https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/ page.php?id=439
Australian Institute For Disaster Resilience: Evacuation Planning Handbook https://knowledge.aidr.org.au /resources/handbook-evacuation-planning/