A main problem that fire danger assessors frequently see when inspecting properties is a lack of best housekeeping. I believe that professional cleaners can fill an important role in helping to maintain best fire safety precautions within a building.

All corporations and certain residential properties should have fire risk management carried out in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.   Bad housekeeping is often a wonderful indicator of other fire safety deficiencies discovered in a building.

We often find that occupants do not properly dispose of their rubbish and leave products stored along means to avoid passageways and in other inappropriate places. This can maximize the chances of random arson violence and can also block off avoid routes and egress into a premise.

Hiring Commercial Cleaning services to keep premises tidy and to maintain good housekeeping activities is an ideal way to guarantee fire safety compliance.  They can achieve this by keeping the escape routes clear and ensuring any unimportant combustible materials are eliminated from buildings on a continuous basis.

Best communication and cooperation between fire danger assessors, professional cleaners and those responsible for health and safety within a premise is also important.  We can ask cleaners to look out for fire security deficiencies whilst they work. A cleaner can be observant for overloaded plug sockets, extension leads that are interrelated or portable heaters being used underneath desks or close to flammable items.  They can also guarantee extractor fans are kept tidy and free from hindrance; the build-up of trash and grease in these fans can possibly cause electrical breakdown and pose a fire danger. Utility cupboards that home gas and electricity meters should be kept all clear but we often discover that they are not.  Again, with constant checks we can ensure these are emptied and that combustible materials are extracted from potential ignition sources.

We can also take this one step further and train them to test the fire alarms and emergency lights. In the general parts of residential properties, cleaners can do these weekly and monthly tests whilst they clean, thus saving their customer money and ensuring these systems are tested on a constant basis.  Any defects the cleaners find can then be reported to the responsible individual and further action can be taken.  It makes sense to have as many individuals as possible checking the fire safety protections within a premise as these often get ignored. So, using cleaners to take on this role ensures they are routine checked in a cost-effective way.

Another matter fire risk assessors come across continuously is the build-up of combustible materials on the external perimeter of a premise. Again these can increase the chances of arson violence and also block off fire exits.  Commercial Cleaning Service providers can assist with keeping this space clear.  As fire risk assessors we also examine any external designated smoking areas to make sure they are suitably located away from any ignored routes and also that metal ashtrays are safely emptied on a daily basis.  Cleaners can help with this and make frequent checks around the premises.

Fire danger assessors also need to ensure that rooms and premises are only used for their intended purpose.  For example, under no conditions should flats be used as workshops or for the storage of large quantities of flammable liquids such as petrol and many more.  Cleaners can possibly help us identify any such unusual situation or illegal task and report it.

It is common sense that clean, arranged buildings with good housekeeping operations and few combustible materials inside and out are at less risk from fire than badly maintained buildings.   If we can help with keeping on top of the simple things, we can inspire property owners to also ensure they have their other fire preventions in place, such as the proper provision of fire doors, fire alarms and emergency lighting systems.

I hope this article has been thought-provoking and highlighted the important link between Commercial Cleaning and fire security.  Perhaps by giving our cleaners some information of basic fire safety principles, we can support and inspire all those responsible for buildings to keep their residents as fire safety compliant as possible.