Chapter 7 ASSESSING THE FIRE HAZARD
New Regulations came into force in 1999 which requires businesses
to carry out a FIRE ASSESSMENT of their premises
A FIRE ASSESSMENT is made up of five stages:
- Identify the fire hazards
- Remove hazards & eliminate risks
- Choice, placing and training in use of fire extinguishers
- Carrying out the right procedures in an emergency
- Treatment of injured casualty
1. Identify the fire hazards
Where are fires likely to occur?
- fuel store - in general diesel will not catch fire but will burn if a
fire has started. The main problem is petroleum spirit - fumes from petrol have
been known to jump 3 metres (10 feet ) so all precautions should take this into
- petrol in vehicles The principal danger is in filling but leaks,
spillage and bad practices have also caused problems.
- pesticide store - the majority of the pesticides used on Golf Courses
are not inflammable but if involved in a fire will give off toxic fumes!!!
- fertilisers - the principal problem is Nitram fertilisers - these are
not used extensively on Golf Courses - the normal fertilisers are not
- peat - peat can burn but usually must be set alight
- fumes - petrol fumes - particularly at filling or spillage or
- fumes - battery charging - remember the golf caddy cars!!
- fumes - painting
- fumes - use of cleansers
- soil steriliser - the paraffin powered type
- burning waste - NEVER start a fire with petrol!!!
- lounge bar
- plant room
- electricity switchroom
ON THE COURSE
- long dry grass
- trees & shrubs in drought
2. Remove hazards & eliminate
- SMOKING is one of the main sources of naked flames in a workplace -
you must think seriously what you are going to do about it:
- smoking should only be allowed in safe areas
- never smoke near combustible materials
- never smoke near flammable liquids or gases - remember fumes can
cause the fire to jump 3 metres
- never smoke when using an aerosol
- always extinguish the match and the cigarette before
- mark No Smoking areas clearly
- GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
- keep everything clean and tidy:
- can lids replaced immediately after pouring
- cans replaced immediately after use in store
- rubbish cleared regularly - once a day, at least, from work
3. Choice, placing and training in
use of fire extinguishers
- do you have them?
- do you have a list of types and locations?
- are they adequate for the fire risks at your workplace bearing
in mind the fire hazards identified above?
- the fire extinguishers and smoke alarms should be checked yearly by a
reputable firm. - note date last checked.
4. Carrying out the right procedures in
- do your greenkeepers, members, visitors, know what to do in the event
of a fire?
- is there a gas and electricity emergency cut off in the kitchen and
- do you ever have a fire evacuation drill?
- do you control the access of visitors?
- is there safe refuge areas for mobility impaired visitors - usually
the stairwell in modern buildings has a fire of over 30 minutes, time enough to
be rescued by the fire service!
- are the emergency exits marked? In many large buildings, they are now
showing a drawing of the building, where the room is and the route of the fire
- is there adequate access and egress from the workshop and
- is there a Fire Evacuation plan and an assembly point
5. Treatment of injured casualty
- have staff been trained in actions to be taken in the event of
- can they fight the fire?
- should they fight the fire? - or is it better to evacuate all
personnel and allow the experts to fight the fire?
- have staff been trained in first aid should there be a fire -
treatment of burns, fumes, unconscious patients etc
As usual most of you will look at the above and say, "yes
all that is logical, and most of it I already do" but
In the event of a fire would your system react adequately?
Could you live with yourself if it did not?
So, on one of mornings, when the weather is really bad and you cannot
get out of the sheds, sit down, consult your staff and just talk with them
through your premises - you'll be surprised at the good ideas that come