What is Fire and Safety Audit and why is it important?

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There is no denying that fires can be devastating. It has the power to take down both the man and property. Fire and safety audit is often overlooked by many organizations. Regardless of the size, the nature, or the location of the premises, fire can be a hazard. In light of fire safety, success in its management is crucially significant to maintain calm in workplaces. As a result, managing fire risks has become a top priority for many organizations around the world. 

 

What is fire safety?

Fire safety refers to the preventive measures adopted to secure something from the hazardous effects of fire. 

This means implementing proper training and safety measures within the workplace in order to prevent fires. It is necessary that workplaces adopt efficient fire safety measures legally which could aid in minimizing the losses in case of an actual fire. While everyone knows why fire safety measures are adopted, let us understand why it is necessary to learn about fire and safety engineering. One may learn about fire safety online or through dedicated fire and safety college courses.

 

Significance of Fire Safety

The importance of knowing fire safety cannot be overstated. Described below are the top reasons why fire safety is important at workplace premises.

 

Quick response: Knowing how to deal with a fire is an integral part of fire safety training. Most organizations, today, have fire safety drills in place. Fire Safety Drills help people to naturalize their reaction to a fire outbreak to handle the situation in a calm and efficient manner. During times of crisis, everyone must be on the same page to ensure an effective response. Training in fire safety will not only help prevent damage to people but make sure that the fire doesn’t spread. As a part of the fire drill, the employees would know where to go during the fire, pulling the fire alarm, etc.

 

Fire prevention:  The possibility of fires spreading from work or from home cannot be completely eliminated. Therefore, prevention methods should be taught instead. The dangers of fire are minimized if all the workers in an office or all the members of a family are aware of fire safety measures. Some things that people can be taught are how to not overload wires, look for faulty circuits, exposed wires, etc. Besides teaching the fire triggers, teaching about fire alarms and other fire prevention devices is also important. All modern areas have a water sprinkler system, extinguishers throughout the place. 

 

Understanding hazards: Fire safety is taught as a full-time course in very few colleges. For instance, at GSFC University, students can earn a B.Sc Fire and Safety course degree. Along with learning about the hazardous nature of fire, its prevention, this course provides an opportunity to make a career in the construction industry, petrochemical, oil and gas, Process industries, Aviation, and Marine industry. 

A workplace has several fire hazards and everyone should be aware of them. Flammable material like paper, cardboard, flammable liquids, dust and debris around electrical sockets, overloading sockets with too many wires, smoking, and also sheer negligence can cause fire at a workplace. Laying out a proper fire safety plan, emergency floor work within the office is important. 

Fire safety plans: A good place to start with fire safety is creating a proper plan. A proper plan will not only set a proper foundation on how to deal with fires, document losses, and importantly an evacuation plan. The plan would also include an exhaustive list of fire hazards at the workplace. All exit points should be properly marked and highlighted. On the outside, there must be a proper place where people can gather after evacuation. This plan should be made available to employees for easy access. This plan should also be made available for experts during the fire safety audit.

 

What is a fire safety audit?

 

In a fire safety audit, buildings are inspected to determine if they adhere to fire safety codes. All buildings must comply with the National Building Code of India. The code states fire hazards and how to prevent basic fires at work and home. The fire safety audit is done for offices, hotels, corporate houses, and large industry bodies.

 

The fire safety audit process is typically done by experts and in the following fashion. After the process concludes, a report of recommendations and findings is given after the audit concludes.

 

  • The property is inspected by experts.
  • Plans and blueprints of the property are examined.
  • All existing fire safety features and measures built into the system are checked.
  • Finally, experts check for fire safety awareness among all employees in the organizations.

 

Why to do a fire safety audit?

 

Audits of fire safety are especially important since they help organizations determine whether they are meeting all requirements and what changes need to be made. Following are the other benefits that fire safety audits offer.

 

  • Identify potential fire hazards in the office. These could both be inside and outside of the building.
  • Evaluate if existing fire safety measures are to be marked or not. Measures would include evacuation exits, water sprinklers.
  • Look for and recommend additional measures that are to be taken up for fire safety.
  • Understand if the existing fire detection measures are up to date or not.
  • Checking fire fighting measures such as extinguishers to determine whether they are working or not.
  • Fire safety audits also make sure proper training is given to all employees and all people who occupy the office. 

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