When you’re responsible for someone’s big day, the pressure is on to make sure it goes off without a hitch. You want your clients’ wedding day to be a day they will remember for the rest of their lives, and for all the right reasons.
Of course, there are many things that could go wrong which are beyond your control, but ensuring good fire safety is just one way to be certain you’re doing everything practically possible.
As a business owner, and particularly for venues, you’re legally required to ensure precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of a fire and that you’re prepared should one ever start.
Spot Potential Hazards
The best way to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is to carry out a fire risk assessment. Whether you carry it out yourself or hire a professional, it will make you aware of all the potential hazards that exist, such as things that could start a fire and things which could ignite.
You can then take steps to ensure these are kept separate, or at least are counteracted. It could mean keeping heaters and electricals away from fabrics, having designated smoking areas, and either banning lighted candles or using fire-retardant materials.
Think About Numbers
It’s important to think seriously about the number of people who can attend the wedding, as it isn’t just a case of how many seats you can squeeze in. The maximum number of people is determined by the number, location and size of the emergency exits.
Each exit with a width of 1.05 metres will accommodate up to 160 people, an exit width of 1.65m allows up to 240 people, and a width of 1.95m allows up to 320 people through each door. And that’s the case whether it’s a marquee or a grand palace.
Keep Equipment Maintained
The best way of knowing that the equipment can be relied on is to check that everything is serviced according to regulations and manufacturer’s guidelines. This will include having electrical items PAT-tested and gas boilers and cookers serviced annually, whether they’re at the venue or contracted in for the event.
You also want to ensure fire safety equipment, such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and emergency lighting, are inspected at least once a year.
With your fire extinguishers, you’ll need at least one water-based extinguisher (water or foam) of three litres or more to cover 200 square metres of floor space. However, for
specific threats, such as flammable liquids and electrical equipment, the appropriate fire extinguisher will need to be kept close to the hazard.
Plan and Train
Each venue should have a fire action plan, which tells you what you need to do when a fire starts, including where the assembly point is and who calls the fire brigade. This is something which everyone who is helping the day run smoothly should know, and there need to be staff who are trained fire wardens.
Able to help keep on top of fire safety, they can keep a calm head in an emergency and ensure a smooth and swift evacuation which keeps everyone safe.
The fire risk assessment needs to be kept updated, which is why many fire brigades recommend reviewing it annually. It needs to be updated whenever there is a change in building layout or function.
Temporary constructions will also need a fire risk assessment, and even certain activities which a bride and groom may request could require an assessment, such as fireworks.
To find out more information about fire risk assessments and fire safety equipment, visit fireprotectiononline.co.uk.
Article Posted: 01/11/2017