THE HEAT IS ON ...
But Can You Put It Out?
Posted by Andrew Mitchell on 25/04/2012
An ever increasing number of businesses are now being run from either the spare bedroom, the study or - in some cases - a garden shed. We all know that doing this keeps the overheads to a minimum, but how many of you have ever really thought about the safety of your business based at home ...
make sure you're properly equipped in the case of a fire hazard
Personally I know my business is safe - yes, I operate with an off-site storage and backup system which keeps my files safe and secure - the reason being I can still remember the day when my PC failed and I felt I'd lost my business, even if it was just for 5 days while it was being repaired. Now I know that in the event of my PC ever failing again, I can still grab the laptop, sign into the cloud storage system and be back up and running within minutes or at worst a couple of hours.
The reason I state the obvious is that I wonder whether you have ever considered what you would do if the worst happened and you experienced an electrical fault which resulted in a fire? We all have so many electrical appliances in our offices which include the PC, the printer, the scanner and so on and so forth; even worse, fan heaters - I've seen people putting files on top of them while they were on - "FIRE HAZARD!!" I hear you shout, but as a business owner operating from home have you ever thought about the need for a fire extinguisher?
I have a small extinguisher suitable for use on electrical fires which is going to be the most obvious type of fire, especially if you have forgotten to remove MY PET HATE, the cardboard wiring diagram. These can overheat if left in-situ and cause a fire. Even worse, imagine spilling your coffee and it goes onto the same plug - that piece of cardboard may have got wet increasing the chance of a fire or even electric shock.
Seriously, both the Health and Safety at Work Act and The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order are designed to protect a business, its owner and staff, but it doesn't necessarily enforce the same policy within a home based businesses. If you want some further information, have a read of the Workplace Health and Safety Guidebook.
In addition, how many of you visit other businesses with your laptop and/or projector and do a presentation? Did you know you could be held responsible if your equipment causes a fire on those premises? Get them PAT tested - we will do this for you and supply a certificate to prove that the equipment has been checked.
So if you would like to stay one step ahead and would like us to carry out a simple low cost PAT test of your equipment or to protect your home based business from a fire, email me or give me a call on +44 (0) 800 118 2404 and I'll be happy to talk to you about supplying a small fire extinguisher suitable for electrical fires.
Until next time ...
FTS SAFETY SOLUTIONS
I have been electrical safety testing for over eight years and have worked for various police forces, small and large business clients even the Royal Household and more recently the Forensic Science Services and the Fire Service.