Business owners must ensure they are fire safe and follow all of the mandated minimums at least for fire safety in their office, warehouse, or storefront. Fire Safety in Australia is essential for ensuring the safety and health of their employees and customers and can mean the difference between a fire killing people and everyone being able to escape unharmed if there is a fire in the building. Taking the time to read through a checklist of what business owners need to have can enable a business owner to be sure they're following Fire Safety in Business practices and ensuring the safety of everyone in the building.
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Have a means of escape and clear evacuation route
- Evacuation routes must be clear of obstructions and final exits should be clear of obstructions for at least two meters. All final exits adjoined to other properties must be clear as well.
- All doors along the escape route must include proper hardware and be unlocked and unobstructed.
- All doors must be undamaged and current maintenance records for fire doors must be produced upon request.
- Fire and smoke walls must be free from unprotected penetration.
- Evacuation signs and diagrams must contain all required information and must be securely fastened and oriented.
Be sure to follow occupancy limits for buildings
- The business cannot exceed the number of occupants permitted at any times and must be calculated appropriately based on the type of building.
- Any occupancy notices that are issued must be complied with immediately and the business must ensure every staff member is aware of the occupancy number.
Maintain all fire safety products appropriately
- Exit Signs and Emergency Lighting must be undamaged and current maintenance records must be kept and produced upon request.
- All Fire Extinguishers must be correctly maintained, and current maintenance records must be provided upon request.
- All Fire Hose Reels must be properly maintained, with maintenance records kept and able to be provided upon request.
- The Fire Detection and Alarm System must be operating properly with no faults being indicated and must be kept maintained and have proper maintenance records.
- The number of unwanted alarm activations must be below the average.
- The Evacuation System must be in auto mode with no zones in fault and must be properly maintained with records.
- The Sprinkler Booster installation must be undamaged and maintained with records that can be produced upon request.
- The on-site Fire Hydrant Booster must be undamaged, and all on-site Fire Hydrants must be undamaged with maintenance records properly kept.
- Current maintenance records must be provided upon request for Stairwell Pressurization, Smoke and Heat Ventilation Systems, Standby Power Supply, and Emergency Lifts.
- If any Critical Defect Notice has been received, it must be rectified within one month and interim measures have to be put in place for the safety of occupants.
Be sure there is an evacuation plan in place
- There must be a Fire and Evacuation Plan in place that is kept in the specified form.
- Fire and Evacuation plans must reflect alternative building solutions and must include procedures to help evacuate anyone with special needs.
- The plans must be kept current, reviewed annually, and available upon request.
- General evacuation instructions must be given to workers within two days of hire and then annually. Records for these must be available upon request.
- First Response Evacuation instructions must be given within one month of hire and then once every two years. Records for these must also be available upon request.
- Evacuation Coordination instructions must be given and records for the instructions must be available.
- Evacuation Practice must be conducted annually, and a Fire Safety Advisor must be appointed if there are more than 30 employees.
Prepare and implement fire safety management plans
- Current Fire Safety Management Plans must be prepared and implemented.
- A copy of these plans must be kept in the building and be able to be accessed by anyone, without charge, when the business is open.
- These are some of the most important tasks a business owner should be aware of to ensure their building and the occupants is fire safe. Be sure to follow all of these to ensure your building is properly prepared and follows the law for fire safety. Any questions should be directed to a professional to ensure an accurate and legally sound answer.
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