It is required under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order that every commercial organisation nominates a ‘responsible person’ to oversee the fire safety standards of the premises. This includes checking for correct installation and maintenance of fire detection and combating equipment, performing risk assessments, and carrying out regular fire drills to uphold safety standards.
In respect to office environments, the type and severity of fire risks present are constantly changing, making the responsible person’s role that much more important. Fire warden training is the best way to ensure that sufficient education as to the best way to approach the task is made available, but it can still be difficult for a trained warden to remember every aspect of the role.
Fortunately, there are a number of useful resources available online that help when it comes to prompting the memory. One such resource is the unique mini-site created by Elite Fire Protection, How to Defend your Office when the Dragons Attack.
With each page showing a different area of a standard office building, the interactive Elite Fire site uses the scenario of a dragon attack to help to point out and emphasise the most important facets of fire safety.
The first page sees a desk area, with a couple of safety elements around. On the wall is a fire alarm, with the text stating that these should be well maintained and tested regularly, often on a weekly basis in an office where central control panels tend to be part of the system.
The fire extinguisher present must be suited to the most likely fuel involved in a fire at the premises – e.g. water extinguishers for Class A fires (combustible solids) and dry powder/CO2 for Class E fires (electrical). Proper upkeep is again vital, with annual checks for corrosion and other faults necessary.
On the following page, the scene moves into the staircase of the office building. Here, emergency lighting is evident on the walls. In the event of a fire, main power to a building can often go down, and darkness and smoke make visibility difficult. That’s why emergency lighting becomes so important, illuminating the way to emergency exits.
The fire door also present in this scene, along with its accompanying fire exit sign, are other crucial considerations for fire wardens. Correct signage indicates which doors are used as emergency exits – vital for any visitors to the building – and these areas should be kept clear of obstruction at all times. Fire doors should be self-closing, and include an intumescent seal to prevent smoke and flames from spreading between rooms.
On the final page, the office’s inhabitants can be seen outside the building carrying out a fire drill. Designating a route of escape and an assembly point is a key part of the fire warden’s role. Once assembled, a register should be taken to determine if any persons remain inside the building.
The pile of rubbish in front of the fire exit not only represents an obstruction to those attempting to escape the building, it also provides fuel for a possible blaze to break out in this area – whether through accidental means or via arson. Regular rubbish collection services must be obtained to prevent this danger.
The fire warden seen taking guiding the fire drill has undergone sufficient training for the role by a professional and competent expert in the industry, such as Elite Fire. Training can be carried out for multiple persons (recommended for businesses with high staff numbers), and essential for upholding fire safety levels – not to mention legal obligations.
Author – Elite Fire London
Moving house is one of life’s most stressful events involving endless organising, packing and sorting. Planning a new life abroad only adds to the pressure but thorough research, tight budgeting a high quality removals company and a lot of decluttering will all help keep things ticking along like Clockwork on move day.
Planning your move abroad
Once you have made the big decision to relocate start researching your planned destination thoroughly. Accommodation, schooling, healthcare, banking and the cost of living are all essential things to consider before you make your move. Costs can add up so start putting together a detailed budget as soon as possible, researching the price of cars, rent, utilities and property in your destination country.
Once your research is complete make an appointment for a survey with an international mover, preferably one that is a member of the British Association of Removers Overseas Group (BAR). BAR members must adhere to strict criteria and using a company that is not a member means you may have no route of redress or complaint other than the civil courts or local trading standards offices in the unlikely event something goes wrong. Most reputable removal companies will offer international insurance, but a fully comprehensive package such as marine transit insurance is advised. Although precautions are taken to minimise any risk to your belongings, realistically insurance should be a priority and is something to think seriously about when budgeting your costs.
Your removals company will talk you through the costs and logistics of the move and verify the exact volume to ship. They will also offer destination storage and unpacking services and help with customs formalities. If you have a pet, accredited international movers will also have valuable partnerships with specialist pet relocation services, to make sure all the family are moved abroad safely.
The big clear out
Reputable removal companies will offer full export packing services which are generally worth the extra cost. Experienced export packers will pack up your entire home (freeing up your time for other chores) with specialist materials so you are safe in the knowledge that all your worldly possessions are safe during their long voyage to their final destinations.
The last thing you want is to pay more in removal costs to move items you don’t even want across the world. A clutter free, tidy and organised home will not only help sell your house quicker but will also make the moving process easier.
Start de-cluttering your house as early as possible starting with the attic and working your way down to basements, garden sheds and garages. During your big clearout always bear in mind where you are going: Do you need a lawn mower if you are moving to an apartment in Dubai? Another good rule to work by is; if you can’t remember the last time you used or wore something, the chances are you don’t need it!
When it comes to moving abroad, knowing you have planned and budgeted properly and having a reliable international removals crew on hand will really put your mind at rest so you can relax and concentrate on your new life in your destination country.
Questions for your international movers
- Are you a member of The British Association of Removers Overseas Group?
- Do you offer full marine transit insurance?
- Do you offer export packing?
- How will the move be carried out? Number of days in customs, shipment times, crew size?
- How secure will my belongings be if they have to be stored?
- Who is my destination agent?
Clockwork Removals and Storage London offer accredited international removals, storage and export packing services to individuals and families all over the world. To discuss your move abroad call 0800 195 8671 today.