‘Tis the season to be jolly! But it’s also the time of potential fire accidents in workplaces. Many of the things used in the days leading up to and during Christmas can increase the risk of fire in offices and business units. Decorations, ornaments, fairy lights and the Christmas tree can brighten up your business premises but can also cause accidental fires that can cause damage to property and people. Fortunately, such fires are completely preventable if businesses take the necessary steps to prevent them before and after installing these Christmas decorations and essentials. Regardless of how big or small your workplace is, taking the measures mentioned below can help you, your employees and your customers maintain safety during Christmas and enjoy a great festive season without worrying about fire hazards:
Fire Risk Assessment Review
The time just before the festive period and the reduced working hours during the festivities are the perfect time for reviewing your fire risk assessment. Check the maximum number of occupants allowed at a time in your building and ensure that the number is never exceeded. Also, review your children’s safety and evacuation policy as your premises may have more children than usual during Christmas. Your fire risk assessment review must also take into consideration any Christmas exhibitions and displays that may require additional room and the compulsory involvement of third-party contractors. Finally, make sure you conduct your fire alarm test more often during the festive period to prevent any mishaps. Hire a professional fire and safety specialist for an efficient and reliable fire risk assessment and review.
Christmas Tree & Lights
The Christmas tree lights must be PAT (portable appliance tested) by a professional before you install them, regardless of whether they’re new or have been in the storage for a long. Other important measures to take when it comes to Christmas trees and lights are:
- Use only moisture resistant, outdoor lights outside
- Don’t overload electric sockets with multiple plugs and adaptors
- Place hot lights away from flammable items
- Only use lights that conform to British Standards (BS EN 60598)
- Make sure cables are not left trailing on the floor or the wall
- Use a transformer for plugging the lights
- Do not block any doors or emergency exits by placing the Christmas tree near the entrance
- Water the Christmas tree every day after safely removing the decorations and keeping them away, so that it does not dry up and catch fire easily
- Turn off all the lights and equipment when you leave.
It never feels like Christmas without decorations. However, being careless with them in your office can cause serious accidents with severe consequences. Here are some of the steps you can take to safely use decorations during Christmas in your workplace:
- Keep papers and boxes away from electrical equipment
- Dispose of wrapping paper after use and make sure it is not left lying around on the ground
- Don’t put decorations around fairy lights or any other electrical equipment as they can easily catch fire from short-circuit
- Don’t cover fire safety signs when putting up decorations
- Try and use fire-retardant decorations wherever possible
Apart from these fire safety measures, businesses must also take other steps like earthing appliances, using lights that meet British or European standards, reviewing evacuation plans, and training staff about maintaining fire safety during Christmas, to avoid fire accidents. If you are looking for a professional fire and safety specialist to review your fire risk assessment before Christmas, look no further than LNS! Contact our friendly team on 0116 224 3478 and book your site survey.