It’s easy to get complacent about the risk of fire in your workplace, especially if your firm is based in an office or other seemingly safe environment. However, the fact is, wherever there are sources of ignition, items that will burn and oxygen, there is a danger that blazes will break out.

Most fires are preventable and one of the greatest weapons against them is thorough training. By making sure your staff members know how to minimise the relevant dangers, you can control the risk of fire. Training also plays a vital role in enabling employees to respond effectively in the event that a blaze does break out.

In short, effective training can prevent injuries, save lives and protect property.

NEBOSH National Fire Certificate

To help ensure that your firm meets its responsibilities under UK fire safety legislation, you can arrange for your managers and supervisory staff to take the NEBOSH National Fire Certificate. It’s now simple to book these courses with training providers such as Phoenix Health & Safety.

The qualification equips holders to conduct fire risk assessments of most workplaces and to identify fire protective and preventative measures. The course lasts for five days and covers a range of topics, including managing fire safety, the principles of fire and explosion and the safety of people in the event of a blaze.

Preventing panic

It’s also important to note that, as an employer, you are required to train new staff about fire safety when they start work. In addition, you must tell all your workers about any new fire risks and you should carry out at least one fire drill each year. The results of these drills should be kept as part of your fire safety and evacuation plan.

When you and your workers are busy, conducting fire drills can seem like an unnecessary hassle. However, it is anything but. The rate at which fires can spread and the heat and smoke they produce mean they are liable to cause panic. If your personnel are not trained in how to respond in the event of such an emergency, they are much more likely to make potentially dangerous errors of judgement.

Your other responsibilities

Of course, effective training is not the only issue to focus on when it comes to fire safety. You must also conduct suitable risk assessments and keep these up to date. These assessments should identify any possible causes of fire and substances that burn, as well as the people who are at risk.

It is also vital that you conform to general housekeeping rules. For example, sources of ignition and flammable substances should be kept apart and it’s important not to let rubbish to build up as this can present a fire risk.

You must also have a fire detection and warning system, as well as suitable fire fighting equipment, and your staff should be trained in how to use this equipment. Furthermore, you must carry out regular checks to make sure that your fire alarms and emergency lighting work, all escape routes are clear and fire exit signs are in the right place.










Starting your own business can be an exciting time. You get the chance to be your own boss, do something you enjoy and potentially make plenty of money in the process. However, if you’re to be successful, it’s really important that you prepare properly and know what to expect.

Here are five of the top things you’ll need for your business start up.

1) A great idea

Firstly, and most importantly, you’ll need a great idea. Your enterprise will only succeed if there is a demand for your products or services, and if you work out how best to exploit this. This means it’s vital that you do plenty of research. Speak to potential customers, check out rival companies and, if possible, create a prototype to test out on people. If your initial idea seems to have too many problems, it could be time to go back to the drawing board and come up with new initiatives.

Putting in the ground work at this stage can save you a lot of hassle and heartache further down the line.

2) A business plan

Once you’re clear on the direction of your fledgling company, it’s time to create a business plan. Although this can seem tedious, it’s something that cannot be ignored. Your plan should cover a range of points, including what your business does and the market need it solves. You’ll also have to incorporate your marketing plans, business structure, financial projections and funding requirements.

3) Money

No company can get off the ground without some money, and your business plan can help you access this. There are a number of options open to you, ranging from loans and grants to investment funding and crowd funding.

As well as working out how to get the money, you’ll need a detailed budget to help ensure you make the very most of every penny you receive. It’s surprising how quickly finances can drain away when you’re starting a new business.

4) A suitable base

Another point to consider is your base. All enterprises need premises to work from. If you’re planning to start small, you may get away with working from your home. However, if you’re taking on employees you’ll need to consider renting an office. Either way, it’s crucial that you have all the relevant desks, chairs and storage equipment. Luckily, it’s now easy to buy items like this by heading online to companies such asFurniture At Work™.

As well as furniture, you must ensure you have all the technology you need. Fast and reliable broadband is a must, along with suitable phones, computers, printers and more.

5) Sticking power

Even if you plan every detail of your enterprise and do all the required groundwork, don’t expect your company to take off immediately. Getting a firm off the ground can take plenty of time, effort and patience. Don’t be put off if this process takes longer than you think. One quality that is common among all successful entrepreneurs is sticking power – and plenty of it!










Small businesses How to save money

August 5, 2014

Utility bills have doubled in the past decade so it is vital for small businesses to manage their energy and water consumption carefully. The government has repeatedly warned that the era of cheap energy is over and most observers expect utility prices to double over the next ten years. Small businesses can make big savings [...]

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