It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas with hotels, restaurants and shops already displaying their festive decorations for a number of weeks. Many other businesses will also now be thinking of putting up their decorations whether it’s the foyer of an office block or the reception area of any commercial premises.
With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that your employees as well as visitors to your premises are safe from fire in the workplace this Christmas.
To help you to keep your people, equipment and property safe, we would advise you follow these simple guidelines so you too can relax over the holiday period.
The most important principle when it comes to fire safety in the workplace is the regular testing of fire alarms. Though all business premises should test their fire alarm regularly, it is especially true of larger work environments where fires may start far away from where people are usually sat or working throughout the day. Having a suitable and functioning fire detection system in place is particularly important at Christmas time in premises such as shops, restaurants and even offices where decorations and trees are put up.
If anything does go wrong with your Christmas decorations, you’ll need the appropriate fire safety equipment to deal with it. Fire extinguishers are one of the main ways of combating fires in the workplace, including a CommanderEDGE 2kg CO2 Fire Extinguisher which is suitable for use on electrical fires.
Alternatively, you could install a Dry-powder or a Water/AFFF Foam unit for the leaves, decorations and other textile type fires. If you are unsure which extinguishers are the best for your workplace, it’s important to get professional advice.
Materials that can catch fire easily must not be positioned anywhere near your Christmas tree. Artificial trees in particular are fuel for fires, and as they are large items, they could cause the spread of the fire more quickly than usual. What’s more, it is around your Christmas tree that you’re most likely to overload an electrical socket, so take care to avoid this.
Certain places aren’t suitable for your decorations and can cause harm in the long run. Decorations can burn easily, so don’t attach them to lights and lamps where they can over heat.
Importantly, fairy lights should not be left on at the end of the working day. Ensure that the last employees to leave the premises know that they are responsible for switching off these lights to avoid the risk of fire.
Many types of Christmas decorations use electricity, and while functioning decorations themselves don’t pose a fire safety problem, overloading an electrical power outlet can. Make sure not to plug too many of your decorations into the same outlet to avoid overheating and the threat of electrical fire. Also, check to ensure that you are using decorations with fuses in the plugs as this is an important safety device in the fight against fire. (This advice also applies to Christmas decorations in the home).
At Hartson Fire, we provide a range of fire safety services including all types of fire extinguishers and related accessories across the South Wales area. For a specialised and detailed fire risk assessment of your fire extinguishers, contact us today on 01792 323773.
Our range of fire extinguishers is also available to order from our online shop https://hartsonfire.co.uk/collections/fire-safety-bundles