Fire protection is not only an enormously important topic for entrepreneurs because of the obligation to comply with clear legal requirements. Above all, personal injury that can arise in a fire should be avoided at any cost.
Immense damage to property and interruptions in the production process from a fire can mean enormous losses for business owners to the extent of threatening existence. To avoid these serious consequences of a fire, it is important for the entrepreneur to consider two important areas of fire safety: planning and defensive measures. Preventive work and careful planning of the construction or outfitting of the production facilities minimise a large proportion of the risk. Entrepreneurs should take the respective state building regulations and special building regulations into account. The essential aspects are:
- Sufficient and compliant planning and installation of escape routes and emergency exits
- Appropriate marking of the above-mentioned rescue routes and emergency exits
- Division of the operating areas into suitable sections (areas with a high risk of fire such as laboratories, paint shops, etc. require special rooms).
- Offices with major electronic devices (copying stations, computer servers, etc.) also require structural measures.
- The planning and installation of doors and escape routes must be free of obstacles.
The responsible trade association will gladly explain the technical measures for the prevention of fire in your company on request. Required here are, for example, a specified number and specified types of fire extinguishers (depending on the fire classification of the substances to be extinguished). Meaningful additions can be fire alarm systems, fire doors or complete extinguishing systems. Incidentally, these measures also play a role in assessing the residual risk of your company in terms of insurance coverage for fire and property insurers.
If you have considered the technical and constructional aspects of fire protection for your company, implementation of the best possible precautions also depends on organisational fire protection. This not only includes the regular checking and ensuring the effectiveness of the above-mentioned construction measures (maintenance of fire extinguishers, keeping emergency exits clear, etc.). Your employees also need clear, understandable instructions and assistance in the event of fire.
The announcement of alarm, escape and rescue plans taking into account the circumstances for people with disabilities is just as much in demand here as the training of the employees on fire prevention, firefighting and rescue including practice evacuation exercises. Such training should also and especially warn of fire hazards due to human error or the careless handling of everyday items such as cigarettes, candles, not turned off coffee makers or kettles or unattended radiant heaters and overloaded power grids.