Step 2 - Identifying people at risk
If there is a fire, the greatest danger is the spread of the fire, heat and smoke through the workplace. If this happens, the main risk to people is from the smoke and products of combustion, which can very quickly incapacitate those escaping. If a workplace does not have adequate means of escape or if a fire can grow to an appreciable size before it is noticed, then people may become trapped or overcome by heat and smoke before they can evacuate.
Your assessment of risk to persons should include:
- the likely speed of growth and spread of any fire, and associated heat and smoke (remember some fuels burn much faster and produce more toxic products than others do)
- the numbers of persons working in the area including contractors, visitors, members of the public
- how will they become aware of any fire that occurs will any outbreak be conspicuous or will some form of fire detection and alarm system be required and
- how they will make their escape (can they make their way out quickly, easily and safely?).