While a festive period full of cheer, winter is also a season that brings its own sets of fire hazards with it. This is especially the case when it comes to businesses. 

Here at Twenty4, we share a few fire safety tips with you, ensuring you, your employees and your business premises are operating safely this winter. 

Office heaters 

A recent survey revealed that over 30% of employees have a personal electric heater that they use at work. Whether used to keep their toes toasty, office warm or add some heat into their reception area, electric heaters come out in force as the weather gets colder. 

While staying warm in winter is necessary, staying safe is equally if not more important. This is why any electrical heaters in your office need to be PAT tested, ensuring they are compliant and do not run the risk of causing a fire at work. 

But, it is not just faulty heaters that can start fires. Having heaters too close to furnishings can be dangerous, as well as being close to dry items like paper and packaging. 

So, even if you do decide to keep a heater that is in fully working order at work, think carefully about where it is placed. 

Power cuts 

Bad and stormy weather is renowned for causing power cuts. Where kind of spooky yet fun at home, power cuts at work can be disastrous. From stopping employees from working to heightening the possibilities of accidents, power cuts can be detrimental for many reasons. 

But, how can a power cut be a fire risk? Well, when work plunges into darkness, most will reach for candles. And, candles are a colossal fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 18,000 fires a year are caused by candles. 

This is why every business should have battery-powered torches dotted around the place, ensuring that if a power cut does happen, no naked flames are required for sight. 

It is also worth investing in emergency lighting; a precaution that can rid of the need for torches and candles! 

Smoking areas 

During the winter, employees take cigarette breaks closer to buildings in a desperate plea to stay sheltered and warm. 

This is why many businesses decide to invest in smoking shelters, ensuring their staff are sticking to the rules but still content and comfortable when smoking at work. 

Even though such structures are created purely for smoking, many boast various fire hazards. So, if you do decide to create a smoking area, take the following onboard: 

  • Ensure the shelter is created from non-combustible materials 
  • Carry out regular fire risk assessments on the area 
  • Provide metal ashtrays 
  • Ensure nobody is using the ashtrays to put litter in. 
  • Have the smoking area away from fire exits 
  • If you have a patio heater in your smoking area, ensure it is PAT tested, placed away from dry waste and is not moved when on. 

Evacuation procedure 

Ensuring your fire evacuation procedure is winter-proof should be a priority for all businesses. 

From gritty exits routes during icy weather to ensuring fire doors are maintained and in full working order; re-visiting your evacuation procedure before winter won’t go a miss! 

We find that offices hold on to bin bags a lot longer in the winter too, with black bags and recycling bags often blocking walkways with flammable, dry materials. In the event of a fire, this could enhance the blaze while blocking off exit routes. 

Office fire prevention with Twenty4 

If you are looking for ways to protect your office and your business, we can help. Below are the services we are supporting the business of South Wales with: 

Contact us today for advice on protecting your business against fire.