Small business fire safety and fire protection is something which should always be taken very seriously, but which perhaps isn’t. Often, things like fire safety get pushed to the backburner, simply because business owners and managers have more important things – in their eyes at least – to do with their time.
Unfortunately, this leads to a wide range of fire safety violations. While the exact nature of these will vary according to the exact workplace fire safety laws in your state or territory, some of the most common fire safety violations include in Australian small businesses include:
- Using Poorly Maintained Fire Safety Gear
Fire safety equipment is essential when it comes to making sure that your small business is protected from fire. Things like fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and sprinkler systems are essential, and are often required under Australian law.
However, a lot of people don’t realise that these fire protection systems need to be serviced and maintained regularly. Most fire extinguishers should be tested at least once every six months, while you should test your smoke detectors regularly and replace their batteries as needed. If you don’t keep your fire safety gear well-maintained, you could find yourself in violation of workplace safety laws.
- Not Containing Fuel Sources Properly
Potential fuel sources need to be contained in appropriate storage containers or areas to reduce the risk of fire. Things like flammable liquids or gases need to be held in fire resistant containers, and isolated from potential ignition sources. Failing to do this can not only make your premises extremely unsafe, but can also put you at serious risk of breaking the law.
- Not Providing Adequate Emergency Exits
Australian law says that every business musts have a specified minimum number of emergency exits which are clearly signed and accessible to everyone. The exact number of emergency exits that you have will depend on the nature of your business, but remember, they can’t be blocked, locked or inaccessible to anyone at any time.
- Not Having A Written Fire Action Plan
It is extremely important to make sure that every single one of your employees knows exactly what to do in the case of an emergency like a fire. You need to have a written emergency evacuation plan which can be found in obvious places throughout your building, and your staff need to be familiar with it.
- Failing To Maintain Electrics Or Machinery
Poorly maintained machinery and electrical equipment is one of the leading causes of workplace fires in Australia. It is extremely important to make sure that you maintain all of your machinery and workplace equipment regularly to reduce your risk of fire.
Unfortunately, small business fire violations are all too common. Small business owners often forget about their responsibilities when it comes to workplace safety, and sometimes they simply don’t realise what they need to do. Make sure that all of your fire safety systems are up to date, and that you aren’t making any of the above mistakes within your business!