A third of UK businesses fail to test fire alarms as required by law
UK COMPANIES are putting the safety of employees and customers at risk by not testing their fire safety systems to meet legal requirements. According to a detailed survey by fire safety specialist JLA, 20% of companies only test their fire alarm systems once a year, while 40% have not trained all of their staff on the common causes of false fire alarms in the workplace.
As employees and customers return to workplaces and retail stores after the pandemic, the JLA study highlights that many companies are ill-equipped to deal with the growing risk of fires at their sites, which which in turn poses huge safety risks to their employees and customers.
the nationally representative survey of 250 business leaders revealed that more than a third of companies (38% of respondents, in fact) do not have proper fire risk assessments in place. More than 80% do not include details of fire alarm regulations and the risks they present in their company manuals.
Worse still, nearly 40% of companies surveyed have not trained all of their staff on the common causes of false alarms and how to mitigate the risk of them occurring in the workplace. This is particularly prevalent in restaurants, bars and cafes, where the figure rises to 75%. If companies do not train their staff in fire prevention techniques and best practices, the associated risks could be enormous.
In particular, damaged reputation, loss of revenue and decreased business efficiency are all potential consequences if businesses and employees are not prepared to deal with the impact of a false fire alarm. .
Prepare for risks
Conducted as part of the company’s “False Fire Alarms” campaign, JLA’s research reveals a huge lack of corporate preparedness to mitigate the risks associated with false fire alarms.
To best prepare for these risks, companies must:
*ensure effective and regular maintenance of all fire alarm equipment
* provide training to employees on how to prevent false alarms
*ensure employees know how to respond to a false fire alarm to minimize disruption to the business
Commenting on the research, Peter Martin (Director of Operations for Fire and Safety at JLA) told Fire Safety Matters: “Events of the past year have understandably caused companies to turn to more ‘critical’ decisions for life. ‘business”. However, with the potential for 18 months of complacency on fire safety, the risks posed to businesses now, as staff and customers slowly begin to return to sites, could be much worse than expected.
Martin continued: “Our survey revealed disturbing statistics about companies that are not maintaining their fire safety equipment and providing vital fire safety training to their staff. This suggests that, if a fire were to occur, many organizations could put their customers and, indeed, their employees at extreme risk.
Further, Martin asserted: “At a time when UK businesses need the continued loyalty of their customers and staff, prioritizing safety and reducing the risk of false fire alarms should be a priority for every organisation. . Ensuring that fire alarms are frequently tested and maintained is absolutely essential. Failure to do so could not only endanger the lives of employees and customers, but could also expose the company to extreme fines and a tarnished reputation.
*For more information on JLA’s research results, visit https://jla.com/blog/fire-safety/a-third-of-uk-businesses-are-failing-to-test-their-fire-alarms-as-often-as-legally-required/