In the last issue I highlighted on how fire is a major risk to both households and business. In this issue I will look a bit deeper into building fire safety and the different systems you need to put in place in order to safely and effectively mitigate this risk.
Technology now plays a big role in our daily lives, more so protecting us from fire outbreaks as well. Adding smoke detectors to an existing alarm is a very cost effective and affordable solution for early fire detection for both domestic and commercial premises. However, for Corporates I recommend installing full-fledged fire alarm systems and have them linked to the City of Harare Fire Station. This ensures that as soon as a fire is detected both the Fire Brigade and employees receive an immediate notification of the fire; which enables swift reaction to control the fire before it gets out of hand. This system reduces fire risk especially in huge warehouses were fire might not immediately be noticed.
Develop a fire escape plan and communicate it to all employees. Practice it regularly and designate a meeting place outside. Fire is dark! It starts bright, but quickly produces smoke and complete darkness. Employees may be blinded, disoriented, and unable to find their way out; having ready made and practiced routines will save lives. Often overlooked, fire escape ladders are essential for any multi-level complex and are easily deployable from a standard window.
Having electronic systems in place will only help when there is a fire. Preventing the fire all together is dependent on the systems you put in place in order to safely and effectively mitigate this risk. The first step to this is identifying your fire hazards; include every employee in this exercise in order to fully exhaust your hazards. Once this is done you can come up with safety measures to mitigate all the hazards.
Fire is fast and deadly; consider taking a few employees for fire fighting courses with the fire brigade.

Yours Truly

Divine Simbi-Ndhlukula


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