Did you know that over 70% of businesses involved in a major fire either do not reopen or subsequently fail within three years? Once a business has suffered a fire, it can be difficult to recover.
And that’s why fire safety should be a high priority for all salons.
Just like every other business, your business also needs to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. By not doing so, you’re at risk of receiving a hefty fine.
But it also ensures that you’re reducing the likelihood of a fire starting, as well as preparing should the worst ever happen. This will ensure your salon enjoys a long and successful life, as well as keeping your customers and staff safe. After all, without them, your salon cannot succeed.
Completing A Fire Risk Assessment
To fully understand your business, you must complete a fire risk assessment. By going through the five steps, you will have done everything required, and kept your business safe.
1. Identify all potential combustibles and possible sources of ignition;
2. Consider all the relevant people who are at greatest risk from fire;
3. Remove or reduce the risks of fire as much as possible and provide precautions;
4. Prepare for an emergency with fire safety equipment, by providing correct training, and have a plan which everyone is aware of;
5. Record any findings and regularly review the assessment to keep it up-to-date.
When you have five or more employees, it is a requirement to record the findings and actions of your fire risk assessment. But regardless of how many staff you have, it’s still a good idea so you have proof you’re fulfilling your obligations.
Salon Fire Hazards
A fire needs three things to burn: oxygen, heat, and fuel. When you can remove one or more of those elements, a fire is far less likely.
So identify the fire risks. Perhaps it’s a stack of cardboard boxes or the bins which are full of the rubbish. This may also include the array of chemicals and sprays you have, as some of them are highly flammable.
These need to be kept away from what you may identify as possible sources of ignition. Electrical equipment and heaters are common ways for a fire to start.
Handheld and freestanding hairdryers can get very hot, so you should be careful with such items, and be wary of where you put straighteners and curling tongs after use.
And if you’re drying your own towels, tumble dryers are a possible fire risk. So make sure you have registered your appliances so you can be contacted if the manufacturer ever recalls them for safety reasons.
Also, ensure that all your electrical equipment is PAT checked annually. That way, you’ll know everything is working properly. And if isn’t, you can stop using it before it becomes a hazard.
Identify Those At Risk
Then you must consider all the people who could find themselves affected by an emergency at your premises. This will mainly include staff and customers, but will also extend to contractors and other visitors.
You must then put in provisions for those who may need help in escaping, like children, the elderly, and the disabled.
Evaluate And Act
Then take the relevant action for your findings, as well as providing fire precautions.
You will need smoke and heat alarms to detect a fire as early as possible. This is important because knowing early means everyone can get to safety. Plus, being able to put out a fire when it’s starting will reduce the damage it causes.
It’s important that you have the right extinguishers to match the risks in your business.
So in a salon, it’s likely you’ll need CO2 extinguishers to safely extinguish fires involving electrical items without the risk of electrocution. And a foam extinguisher may also be a good choice as it is suitable for fires involving cloth, paper, rubbish, flammable liquids and flammable gases.
Extinguishers also need to be partnered with a sign which gives information about their use. And in addition to that, you’ll also need signs which direct people towards fire exits and inform people of what they should do in an emergency.
Record, Plan and Train
This requires you to have a plan of action for during a fire. Which route will people use to make their exit? Where will everyone assemble? Who will call the fire brigade? Who are your fire wardens?
It’s important to have a few staff members assigned as fire wardens. They would need to receive relevant training in addition to their rugular salon training. It’s then their role to hold fire drills to test procedures, make everyone familiar with them, and to keep people calm in an emergency.
Once completed, the fire risk assessment needs to be kept current with any changes that occur on the premises. This may be a new layout or changing how a certain area is used.
Many fire services recommend that they be reviewed annually.
The overall responsibility always falls to the business owner. But you should appoint a competent person who can assist with fire duties and the risk assessment.
For peace of mind, you may instead choose to hire a professional risk assessor to perform a fire risk assessment for your salon. That way, you’ll have confidence that what needs doing is being done.
To find out more information about fire risk assessments and fire safety equipment, visit www.fireprotectiononline.co.uk.