A very dangerous problem that most homeowners, as well as business owners, face is the probability that a fire could break out. There are many things that could go wrong including electrical problems, a heating system that leads to a fire, or simply accidental occurrences that can bring an entire home or complex to the ground. If you have a family at your home and you want to make sure that they are completely safe, or if you have a large facility where there is a significant amount of machinery or flammable material that could cause a major fire, there are certain things to look for every day leading to what is called the fire risk assessment. There are actually five steps to this process, and let’s begin with the first.
Identifying Fire Hazards
The first step of the process is to actually identify all of the potential fire hazards that exist in a particular area. For example, when extreme amounts of heat, the source of the ignition of the fire comes into contact with a type of fuel that could easily burn, and if there is plenty of oxygen, you are looking at the potential for fire. The key to making sure that fires do not occur is keeping the fuel apart from anything that could ignite it. Obviously, there is no way to remove the third component to creating a fire, oxygen, unless you are trying to put it out using a fire extinguisher, a fire hose, or various types of powder that can extinguish the flames. There are so many ways that a fire can get started which includes naked flames such as lighting a candle and leaving it burning inside of your home. Other problems include electrical lighting, electrical heaters, or any type of electrical equipment that could be left on. In fact, some of this equipment could simply be plugged into the wall, and a fire could begin through an accidental short in the system. Finally, if you are working in an environment where there is quite a bit of metal grinding, welding, or any place where there are matches used, these are most certainly fire hazards. Finally, you will want to identify what really could burn, especially quickly, which could be anything from furniture to rubbish like paper and packaging. As long as you are able to keep this material away from anything that can ignite it, you are ensuring that your workers and family will be safe.
Who Is At Risk?
The next thing to consider is who will be at risk at the location that you are doing your fire risk assessment. If you are doing this at your home, then obviously this with your children, significant other, or even family members that are coming over to visit. If this is at your place of employment, if you are in charge of a large factory, you will want to make sure that you do a fire risk assessment at every department level. This is especially true in industrial is this is where welding, burning, and electrical equipment is used regularly which could lead to a significant fire. Finally, if you happen to be in a facility where there are elderly people, this is of utmost importance when looking for potential fire risks. These individuals will not be able to move quickly, or they may not have the cognizance to recognize that there is a fire, and may become victims if an accident occurs.
Creating A Plan Of Action
Once you have identified all of the potential candidates for causing a fire, and you have also determined who will be at risk, you need to think about the steps that you will take to get these individuals out of the home or building, reducing the risk for everyone that may be involved. You also need to consider safer ways of managing material that you have in your home, or at your company, making sure that heat or sparks cannot fall into extremely flammable material. Once you have created this plan of action, this will ensure that both you, and everyone around you, will have the best possible chance of escape from within your home or at your place of employment.
Set Up Training
Developing a plan of action is absolutely useless unless people understand how to use it. This is why schools will have a fire drill when children are taught to go to certain locations in case a fire does happen. They do this repetitiously so that they will remember where to go, even if they are under the stress of dealing with a real situation. By creating your plan, and implementing formal training of some sort, you can better prepare people for what could happen in the future should a fire break out.
Always Repeat Risk Assessment Procedures
Risk assessment is not a one-time deal. It is actually something that should be done on a regular basis. If you are not able to reevaluate your home, the place where your workers are constantly doing their job, or any other location where fires can break out, you are doing a disservice to the people around you. If you are the breadwinner for your family, or the manager of a particular complex, you will need to do this as often as possible. There is nothing worse than realizing, after the fact, that you were not aware of certain hazards that actually lead up to a fire. By doing fire risk assessment regularly, you can improve the chances of the survival of the people that you love, and the workers that make it possible for your business to function, by assessing the possibility of fire risk as often as possible. It is also necessary to do routine drills where people understand where to go in case of a fire. It is the best way for you to keep yourself and everyone safe through proper fire assessment and practice drills that could save their lives.