Fire safety involves the assessment of general fire precautions and other fire safety duties that are required in order to protect an institution from risks of fire outbreaks. Every industry, firm or institution is at risk of having fire outbreaks no matter the nature of the business; and thus, it is crucial for proper measures to be put in place in order to alleviate any dangers and future fire outbreaks. Therefore, fire risk safety involves an assessment of the potential dangers, possible fire prevention strategies and the necessary steps to be taken in case of fire outbreaks. It helps to identify risks and hazards; taking into consideration the damages caused by fire to people, premises and property.
This paper; therefore, analyses the risks associated with fire in regard to safety of a business, and the necessary steps that need to be taken. The following presents a finding on the safety of the business firm in terms of sources of ignition, sources of ventilation, mean of escape, fire alarms and detection system plus the necessary training, housekeeping, records and maintenance.
Sources of ignition identify the possible sources of fire. In a given business firm, the following were found to be the possible sources of fire ignition. Firstly, smoking was found to be prevalent within the premises of the company, as most employees usually smoked within the company and during working hours. While there is nothing wrong with smoking, the issue was with the disposal of the left-over cigarette. Most cigarettes were found in dustbins within the given offices. Such dustbins also had other papers littered in there. The risk here is very grave, as most smokers disposed cigarettes without extinguishing leftovers. Secondly, another source of ignition was the company kitchen where staff usually prepares some meals or snacks. Kitchen has highly flammable materials, which present a real and present danger to the safety of the company as a whole. Thirdly, being a business firm that deals with the sale of paints and other building materials, there are many hazardous materials in the premises, which presented a real and present danger to the company employees. Such hazardous materials included, paints, adhesives, methane, butane and propane and other flammable liquids, which present a very serious risk to the employees of the firm. Stores where such materials are kept was found wanting, as they were kept in a careless manner and without any precaution of the danger they caused to the company.
Another potential source of ignition was the electrical cables and the general electrical conditions of the firm. Unsafe electrical conditions were found to exist in the company. This includes; damaged electrical conductors, overloaded sockets and extension cords, faulty wirings, blown fuses, low quality electrical equipment, malfunction of electrical devices, loose electrical connections and lack of clearance between electrical heating devices and combustible materials. Electrical faults have been known to be a leading cause of fire disasters, and thus, care should be taken when using electrical machines and equipments for the day to day running of the business.
Another source of ignition is the dumping site of the company. In this company, the site is near the garage, which was filled with a lot of cartoons and other waste papers. The accumulation of such materials is a disaster waiting to happen. It not only makes it a source of fire, but also eases the spread of fire in case of fire outbreak. Sources of ventilation are another aspect of fire risk within a company, a firm or an institution. The presence of a proper ventilation system prevents the ease with which the fire spread. A ventilating system is a mechanical system which comprises of an air blower and an air duct. The business has a proper ventilation system inbuilt in the building at which houses the company. Windows are of proper sizes and allow proper aeration within the premises. The ventilation system is fitted in every office and every room in the premises. Also, it is at a proper height that allows sufficient air circulation. This maintains proper air movement in an enclosed environment thus increasing the chances of survival in case of a fire outbreak.
The means of escape in the company have been adequately provided for in the premise which houses the company. The company has created alternative escape routes from every room and office in the workplace. In doing so, it has avoided the scenario of having one escape route, which leads only in one direction and avoid situations where people moves towards the fire in order to find an escape route. The escape routes are independent of one another and are planned so that people can move safely away from fire. The corridors are large enough to allow employees to find an escape routes without causing a stampede. The company has also catered for proper escape route for its workers with disabilities, and thus, enabling everyone to be able to escape safely. Similarly, the company has an in built inner room in which people can escape in order to be safe from fire. This room is a low risk area which is has the capability to detect and safe guard from fire within the building.
The company, however, lacks the appropriate fire alarms and other fire detection systems. It is advisable to install a fire alarm, which could be linked to the nearest fire brigade station. Similarly, the company can employ the use of smoke detectors which are designed to detect smoke from fires at an early stage. It can also use heat detectors to detect any heat that is beyond a given degree centigrade.
In conclusion, the company has to train employees on the proper methods of fire risk safety, which may include proper handling of smoked cigarettes. The company can come up with a smoking zone or burn smoking within the premises. Where smoking is allowed, proper methods of extinguishing cigarettes like dipping them in douse of water should be encouraged. The company should also train employees on the use of electrical equipments, and how to handle electrical cables and sockets. For instance, the employees should avoid having furniture over the cables as this may create friction resulting into fire. More so, the company should have a building inspector to inspect the premises every now and then for such mistakes. Proper maintenance of the premises should be done thereby alleviating such risks of fire outbreaks.