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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that Employers, “need to ensure that adequate and appropriate fire safety measures are in place to minimise the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a fire”.
Most fires are preventable and the people responsible for looking after workplaces should take appropriate safety measures to ensure the building is safe from fire hazards.
Employers should carry out regular fire alarm tests and also regular fire drills so that all employees are aware of what to do and where they should go in case of an emergency. It’s all good and well telling people what should happen in an emergency but it’s better to show them and have them do it themselves so that they remember procedures more vividly.
If you notice a fire at work, you should sound the alarm immediately and evacuate the building, closing all the fire doors behind you. Don’t use the lift in a fire emergency and NEVER try to extinguish a fire yourself unless you have been specifically trained to use a fire extinguisher – it’s safer to leave this to the experts, both for yourself and those around you.
When a fire evacuation is not organised and managed correctly to ensure it runs smoothly, accidents can occur either as a result of the fire itself or from tripping over foreign objects that shouldn’t be in the way of the fire escape route.
Obvious injuries from a fire include burn injuries, but there are other less obvious injuries such as smoke inhalation which can affect the airways and the lungs. Smoke inhalation injuries are often less apparent and tend not to present themselves until 24-36 hours after exposure.
If you are injured because of a fire at work, you can claim compensation from your employer’s liability insurance. All employers are required by law to have liability insurance to cover themselves should any of their employees have an accident at work. Regardless of the line of work you are in, as an employee, you have the right to be safe at work.


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