Over 2,000 of these fires were in industrial premises and over 5,000 in shops or similar commercial premises, while almost 2,000 are in schools or hospitals. Fire safety has two main parts. The first is ensuring that fires are prevented and the second is to ensure that if a fire happens there are procedures in place to enable it to be quickly identified and dealt with and, at the same time, ensure that all workers and members of the public are not put at risk.
Employers often see fire safety just in terms of having the procedures in place in the event of a fire and forget about the first part, which is taking action to prevent fires. Union health and safety reps should try to ensure that employers do not just see fire safety as a “tick-box exercise”, but one that looks at all aspects of fire safety, including prevention.
As we saw from the Grenfell Fire disaster in June 2017, fire safety is not just about ensuring the proper fire drills and having enough fire extinguishers, it can be about how we design, construct and maintain the buildings in which we live and work.
Download Fire Safety - A TUC guide for trade union activists (PDF)