Millions of people in the UK work in office buildings. Offices vary widely in size, layout and function. Many are small single occupancy, single storey units whilst some are multi storey tower blocks of vast campus like buildings featuring multiple occupants. Fire safety training must take account of the specific environment your staff operate from and the key fire safety issues that affect offices.
In 2013-14 there were 22,200 fires recorded in buildings that were not dwellings. Over 2000 of these occurred in offices
Many office fires are started deliberately. Good security and employee vigilance can reduce the risk of arson. UKFT courses for office staff include tuition on arson prevention
ELECTRICAL LEADS –
Most office fires are caused by faulty electrical leads and overloaded sockets. UKFT courses for office staff include tuition on how to minimise fire safety issues caused by electrical leads.
Portable electric heaters are still widely used in UK offices and are often the cause of fire if not used correctly. UKFT courses for office staff include tuition on how to minimise fire safety issues due to the use of portable heaters.
MULTI STOREY EVACUATION
Safe evacuation from tall modern buildings presents challenges for staff and Fire Services. UKFT courses look at these issues and cover compartmentation and PEEPS.
OFFICE FIRE EXAMPLES
Major fire breaks out at Oxfordshire council offices
A major blaze occurred at council offices in Oxfordshire.
Emergency services were called to reports of a blaze at offices used by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse councils in Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford.
The councils said services have been severely affected, adding that it was putting emergency contingency plans in place to re-house more than 400 staff.
Thames Valley Police refused to comment on reports that the council office fire is a suspected arson, adding that a full investigation had been launched into the cause.
Major fire destroys central London office block
The cause of the fire is still unknown
More than 100 firefighters tackled a fire that started in a restaurant and office block in central London.
Flames took hold at about 0400 GMT at the four-storey building in Tabernacle Street, on the border between Shoreditch and the City of London.
It is believed the fire started at the Sosho Restaurant before spreading.
Some 20 fire-engines are at the scene and spilling over into City Road, which is partly closed. A BBC reporter said the fire had spread to two buildings.
Smoke could be seen as far away as Hackney and Liverpool Street Station, with London Fire Brigade taking numerous calls from people in surrounding areas.
The London Fire Brigade said 50% of the roof was alight
There are also partial closures on Worship Street, Paul Street and Bonhill Street.
Police have reported that the fire is now under control.