Fireman fighting a raging fire with big flames
Fireman fighting a raging fire with big flames
fireman with extinguisher fighting a fire

Running a business, either big or small, is a busy venture and it can be hard to cover all bases. Fire safety is particularly important to understand and prevention is key. Here we will go briefly review the potential hazards you may have in your business and what you should do to protect your employees, business and customers.

Fire Hazards

For a fire to take place there have to be 3 things present:

Fuel Sources

  • Gasoline
  • Paint
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Rubber
  • Waste rubbish
  • Building fixtures and fittings

Ignition Sources

  • Matches
  • Lighters
  • Electrical appliances
  • Sockets
  • Space heaters
  • Welders
  • Grinding tools
  • Cigarettes
  • Naked flames


  • Air
  • Chemicals
  • Cylinder oxygen

Identify your hazards and evaluate the risks

Identify the fuel and ignition sources such as those listed above. You should also identify who might be at risk including staff, customers and others. Write these down and have a record of them for planning purposes and for when you have to train your staff in fire safety.

Next you have to evaluate the risks and try to take steps as to how to prevent these risks becoming reality.

  • Think about how a fire could start
  • Try to keep igniters and fuel sources away from each other
  • Take steps to avoid accidental fires by doing a sweep of your work-site and alerting all area managers to their responsibilities
  • Take steps to make sure fires cannot be started deliberately. Do not leave fuel sources lying around or unattended

In case of fire….

  • Fire alarms – how will a fire be detected and are all areas of the workplace being sufficiently monitored,
  • In the event of a fire how are people to be alerted – fire alarm, management protocol, etc,
  • Is there fire fighting equipment on site such as fire extinguishers or fire blankets, are they regularly inspected,
  • Are there clearly identified escape routes that people can use and sufficient fire doors in place,
  • Is there a dedicated fire safety representative always on site to manage the situation of a fire,
  • Is there protocol in place to make sure everyone is helped out such as older people or disabled employees, visitors etc.,
  • Is there a protocol in place for ringing emergency services and a dedicated assembly point away from the workplace,
  • Have these precautions been tested with fire drills and have the drills been reviewed and corrective actions implemented,


  • In order to make sure that a fire incident does not result in damage, injury or worse it is important to train your employees to respond.
  • The first step is to record the hazards that you have identified on site including fuels, igniters and other dangers. These records should be made available to all involved in the planning of fire safety.
  • The next step is to plan for a fire, or rather, to plan for no fire! This risk assessment should be available to all on site if they wish and the most important points should be on display for staff in a common area such as a safety board or lunchroom.
  • Training should then be provided for all staff and this should be repeated regularly to keep the information fresh.
  • Finally, practice the fire drill regularly and review the main actors such as the Fire Officer routinely to make sure everyone is up to date on company policy in this regard.

Risk Assessments

In most provinces a fire risk assessment is a legal obligation on employers. If you follow the guidelines above you will have a risk assessment document in place and on record. It is, essentially, a document seeking to eliminate, reduce or control the risks associated with fire in your workplace. A continual review system should also take place of the risk assessment itself, especially after any incidents or changes in the workplace. Contact us today at or 226.972.1539 to help you formulate a effective fire safety plan.