There are three key areas of focus when reviewing fire safety procedures in gyms and leisure centres.
Fire risk assessment
All UK businesses are legally obliged to have an up-to-date fire risk assessment. This is a document devised to help you accurately take stock of any potential fire hazards on your premises. And enable you to take any relevant precautions. While you can work from your own fire risk assessment checklist, in most instances businesses are advised to have an initial professional fire risk assessment made. This will ensure that nothing is overlooked in your subsequent monthly checks.
Fire safety equipment
Leisure centres and gyms require a core set of fire safety equipment. Your fire risk assessment will provide guidance in this area. But most will require the following:
- Fire alarms and smoke detectors. The siting of these will be dictated by the layout of your business. But you should be able to hear fire alarms sounding in all areas of your building. Fire alarms and smoke detectors require regular maintenance.
- Fire extinguishers. There are five different types of fire extinguisher. Understanding which extinguisher to site where and how to use them can prevent a small fire from becoming a large-scale emergency.
- Emergency lighting. Emergency lighting is essential in gyms and leisure centres. Knowing when and where emergency lighting should be used and how to maintain it is integral.
- Fire exits. Blocked and unmarked fire exits cost lives. Not only should your fire exits be easily accessible. But they need to be well maintained, and clearly marked with wayfinding signage and lights.
Your employees are your greatest fire safety resource. With the right fire safety training, your team will know how to respond should a fire event ever happen. Enabling them to prevent small fires from spreading, to avoid unnecessary damage, and, most importantly, to minimise the risk of injury to themselves, their colleagues, and your customers.
Fire safety in leisure centres and gyms can be a matter of common sense. But it must be taken seriously. So, start with your fire risk assessment. And ask for professional support if you are at all unsure.