Put down your scissors and prick up your ears because when it comes to having a successful salon, safety is one of the all-important issues you need to consider. Keeping on the right side of the regulator isn’t difficult, but you need to be informed about what is required of you. We spoke to David Woodward of Tas Valley Fire, a retired fire officer who served for 30 years in the Norfolk Fire Service, to get the lowdown on what you need to consider to make sure your salon is fire safe.
- Means of escape – Salons are considered low risk because they are staffed with people who know the building, are awake and aren’t using high volumes of flammable materials. For a single storey salon, you’ll typically have exits at the front and back of the building, so the Fire Service will be happy with that. If you are in a multi-storey or multi-occupied building, it could be more complex as those premises will need a sophisticated fire alarm system and dedicated means of escape.
- Fire-fighting equipment – Each level of your salon should have two fire extinguishers: a foam or water one for carbonaceous fires and a CO2 extinguisher for electrical fires. Don’t use dry powder extinguishers in your salon as they are mainly used on flammable liquid fires and will make a terrible mess!
- Emergency lighting – you should have emergency lighting in place so your staff and customers can find their way out of the building in the event of an electrical failure due to a fire or electrical fault. This is particularly important if you have corridors or stairways in your premises.
- Fire signage – You don’t need to ruin the décor by putting up fire exit signs at your front door, but you will need them to indicate the alternative means of escape. If your premises has a fire alarm system, there should be fire instruction notices in various locations to direct people in the event of a blaze.
- Fire drills – in a small salon or shop there isn’t any need to have fire drills but if you are in a bigger, multi-occupied building they are essential. The landlord of that building is required to conduct a fire drill at least once a year.
- Fire training - Salon staff should undertake fire training annually. This training could be delivered at staff meetings where the staff are made aware of the different extinguishers, evacuation procedure and how to ensure that the customers have left the building in a safe manner.
- Fire risk assessment – it is imperative that you have a fire risk assessment conducted by a suitably trained assessor on your premises. Your assessor will be able to guide you through all of the steps above, as well as advising you on the most effective and cost-efficient solution to achieve the required standard. It’s important to remember that it’s not the cost of the risk assessment that you should be concerned with, it’s the cost that might be involved in the work that is required to bring the premises up to standard. A good, credible assessor can help you keep the cost in check while keeping your standards high.
If you want any more advice on Fire Protection contact David Woodward at [email protected] or on 07814 099 886.