The start of a successful real estate agency is rooted in the health of the agents working there. What might affect their well-being will lead to damages in the business. Therefore, every building manager and safety officer should invest more on ensuring the security of the building occupants through the compliance of fire safety rules.
Here is a useful guide for anyone looking towards achieving a healthy working environment.
The Australian Standards set out regulations to ensure persons are able to evacuate the building safely in times of emergency and ensure the maintenance of fire safety installations in the building.
Escaping from building requires a limited amount of time and an efficient plan. This is highly affected by the means of escape and the evacuation routes provided. To eliminate risks in these areas, the path of travel leading to a safe evacuation area has to be present in the building. Furthermore, paths of travel are expected to be free from obstruction that may hinder or delay the employees from escaping quickly.
Limit of Occupancy
The number of people allowed inside the building at once should be limited in order to prevent overcrowding, especially in times of emergency. The occupancy limit of a building depends on a number of factors:
- The floor area
- The building’s use
- The number of persons likely to use the building
- The flammable materials in the area
- The number of exit doors present in the premises
- The available fire safety equipment
Evacuation Planning, Instruction, and Practice
A fire evacuation plan in line with fire safety measures consists of the following:
- Name and address of your building
- Name, address and contact numbers of the owner and occupier of the building
- Name and detailed contact information of persons responsible for carrying out the evacuation coordination procedures
- The evacuation coordination procedure for the building
- Step by step evacuation guide as per the evacuation coordination procedure
- Detailed guide in using fire safety equipment, specifically the fire extinguisher
- Action plan for training building occupants on using the fire safety equipment in accurate details
Evacuation Coordination Procedures
An emergency that requires evacuation follows a procedure for alerting and communicating with the building occupants, arranging the evacuation of all the persons in the building, checking whether everyone has evacuated through a roll call, meeting and informing the fire brigade of the number of persons evacuated and their identity.
Evacuation Diagrams and Signs
The presence of evacuation signs and diagrams significantly helps guide the occupants to safety. These should bear the right colors, icons and be clear enough for direct instructions. In terms of installing requirements, they should be pinned in visible spots at every evacuation route.
The success of an evacuation relies on the workplace fire safety practices. Ideally, real estate agents must undergo fire drills regularly to know the right action plan during a fire. A fire drill is practiced at least twice a year to be considered effective.
Essential Fire Safety Installations
Fire safety equipment and systems are in place to play the role of protecting building occupants from fire. In return, building safety managers hold responsibility in ensuring the supply and maintenance of these installations.
- Fire Extinguishers (6 Monthly and Annual Inspections)
- Fire Alarm Panels and Occupant Warning Systems (Monthly, 6 Monthly and Annual Inspections)
- Fire Blankets (6 Monthly and Annual Inspections)
- Fire Doors (6 Monthly and Annual Inspections)
- Emergency Lighting and Exit Signage (6 Monthly and Annual Inspections)
- Fire Sprinkler Systems (Monthly, 6 Monthly and Annual Inspections)
- Fire Hose Reels (6 Monthly and Annual Inspections)
- Fire Hydrants (6 Monthly and Annual Inspections)
Obligations of Professional Fire Safety Maintenance Workers
While a building manager is required to set appointments with fire technicians to maintain the equipment, these professionals are obliged to take on the job responsibly by maintaining each installation according to Australian Standards. Aside from that, he/she should report issues necessary to improve the performance.
As long as you comply with the fire safety rules, fire accidents are less likely to affect your business operations. Give us a call for enquiries.