What are the safety regulations regarding fire equipment in offices?
In just a short space of time, a small fire can become completely out of control and turn into a major emergency. There are few jobs in the world that compare to the dangers a firefighter has to face, especially within companies who deal with flammable material on a daily basis. It is, therefore, critical to have the right type of fire equipment in your work environment, but most importantly, you must have a thorough understanding of the safety regulations when dealing with fire equipment.
A fire can pose immediate dangers that cause massive damage, and it is important to have the correct number of firefighters available to deal with an emergency. There’s no definite number of firefighters a company needs, this can only be determined by the type of hazards a company faces, as well as the number of staff within the company. It is, however, good practice within large companies to have a firefighter per department should anything go wrong.
There is legislation in place that requires an employer to provide sufficient firefighting equipment and safety rules to keep their employees safe. According to the Safety, Health and Environmental Regulations, Section 5.2:
The contractor shall take all necessary measures to prevent personal injury or death or damage to the staff or property, including but not limited to:
a) Provision of firefighting facilities in all vulnerable areas and as instructed by the Engineer
b) Marking escape routes and illuminating them if necessary
c) Instructing workmen on fire precautions and use of firefighting equipment
d) Displaying notices on fire safety and procedures in the event of a fire on site
As critical as fire emergency equipment is, as is knowing which equipment to use and how to use it. The law in South Africa stipulates that at least 1 out of 50 employees in an organization must have basic firefighting skills. In the event of a fire, there should be somebody who is trained and knows how to react without causing panic.
Employers need to ensure that all employees know what to do in the event of a fire.