A business on fire: and how to avoid it!

January 27, 2015 6:05 pm

You’re typing like a demon, half-seven in the evening, alone in your office as the dark of the night surrounds everywhere but the lamplight in your cubicle.

That’s when a funny smell hits you. It smells like burning.

You stand up from your desk and see a disarming orange glow in the corridor before you, smoke billowing and a violent crackling sound that edges closer and closer.

It’s fire. Your building is on fire.


You run for the exit but see it blocked by invading flames. You run to the other side of the building but smoke blocks your path. There’s only one thing for it – you open the window and jump out, plummeting two storeys down and landing, by chance, in a well-cushioned skip.

You were lucky – Fire and Rescue Authorities in Great Britain attended over 192,600 fires in 2012, and not everyone escaped these blazes alive.

With that in mind, how can you secure your business from the fatal effect of flames?

The proof is in the walls

You’d never think it, but your walls are flimsier than a house of cards stacked atop a rickety roof. That seemingly impenetrable plasterboard will crumble like a damp Ryvita when flames come-a-callin’.

That’s why you need a middle wall. Some companies provide businesses with fire proof walls that can withstand flames for up to four hours – plenty of time to give the fire services a call.

Keep staff in the loop

Your staff aren’t Lemmings who’ll wander off cliffs without your assistance – but they do need a nudge in the right direction every once in a while. To promote mindfulness, make them aware of the risks posed by a lack of fire consciousness.

Invite a fire safety official (your local firefighters should find the time) to give your team a talk on the perils of poor fire safety, how to enforce vigilance and how to escape when flames are licking the walls.

While a requisite level of fire safety is a necessity by law, go above and beyond the call of duty. You’ll soon find your staff are just as worried about a burning building as you are.

Clear the clutter

Just look at the mess scattered over your workplace floor – folders strewn errantly, files stacked perilously and computer base units stacked like a wire-walker with a tiger on one side of them and a lava pit on the other.

Cleanliness is godliness – and it could save lives.

Imagine running for a fire exit and tripping over a folder. You’d be left to the flaming gods to burn.

So, the final lesson is to keep a clean workspace. Who knows – it could save your skin.

%d bloggers like this: