Office Fire Safety Guide
Posted: 30/11/2022
5 minute read
Office Fire Safety Guide
Home > News > Office Fire Safety Guide

Office Fire Safety Guide

People who go to work at the office every day deserve to do so knowing that they are well protected from the risks of fire. Despite this, there are still thousands of workplace fires in the UK every year.

At Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we want to help reduce this number and ensure staff, guests and visitors are all kept safe while in your office. That’s why we’ve created an office fire safety guide to help. 

We’re going to be looking at who is responsible for fire safety in your office, what the common causes of office fires are, how fire risk assessments can help and which fire alarm systems are available for your space.

Office Fire Safety Guide

Who is responsible for fire safety in the office?

The ‘responsible person’, when it comes to fire safety in the office, is often one of the following (or a combination if there is more than one):

  • The employer
  • The business owner
  • The building landlord
  • The building manager/facilities manager

This is according to the government’s workplace fire safety website, where you can find out more on the topic, along with details of the penalties involved if you don’t uphold this legal obligation.


Common causes of fire in the office

Knowing the common causes of fires in offices can help to highlight issues you may not previously have given much thought to. All workplaces are different, but across certain industries, there are likely to be key themes that can be addressed to improve fire safety.

Here are five of the most common reasons fire breaks out in office spaces, to help you better understand your biggest risks:

Faulty equipment

One of the biggest causes of office fires, faulty equipment can result in electrical fires. Whether it’s loose connections, old electrical items overheating or general misuse, there are plenty of devices, appliances and cables in an office that could trigger a fire if not looked after and regularly PAT tested.

Faulty Electricals illustration

Untidy and cluttered space

When your office is full of clutter, you create more fire hazards. With ventilation blocked off and dust building up on electrical equipment, it creates the right conditions for fires to break out. This is also unhelpful in any efforts to try and extinguish a fire if you can’t reach equipment and may even block safe evacuation routes.

Overloaded Extension Cables illustration

Human error

Whether it’s due to poor training or just carelessness, there is often an element of human error involved with fires in office workplaces. People overloading extension cables, leaving cooking appliances unattended or not knowing how to properly use machinery and devices can all create fire hazards.

Equipment Misuse illustration

Combustible materials

All businesses will have a certain amount of combustible material on site, and offices are no exception. From paper and card to cleaning and cooking chemicals, all it takes is a single spark to ignite these fuels. They should be stored appropriately and away from any ignition sources, such as heaters.

Flammable & Combustible Materials illustration


Sometimes, businesses are the target of arson. Whether it’s simply mindless vandalism or someone with a connection to the business, it can cause serious damage, which is why it’s important to identify and minimise any opportunity by securing your office and any flammable materials.

Illustration of a match in hand to indicate arson


Fire risk assessments for offices

A fire risk assessment is a legal requirement for businesses – including offices – and it should be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is kept up to date and relevant. You can’t just rely on a previous tenant or occupier’s fire risk assessment when first moving into a new office, either, because you may configure the space differently, use different equipment and stock different materials.

A fire risk assessment will help to identify the unique risks within your business so that you can take the right action and improve fire safety in your office. The basic steps for an office fire risk assessment should be as follows:

  • Identifying the fire risks in your building
  • Identifying the people at risk in your building
  • Evaluating any risks and highlighting how to remove them, how to reduce them and ways to protect against them
  • Record. Plan. Inform. Instruct. Train. 
  • The setting of a review date 

You can read more about fire risk assessments and the different elements in our previous post covering the topic.


Types of fire alarm systems for offices

Types of fire alarm systems for offices

Protecting your office from fire is part of your legal duty, with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, stating that you must have ‘an appropriate fire detection system’. This is applicable across all commercial premises, but that can mean very different things for different businesses. So which type of fire alarm is right for you?

At Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we offer a range of fire alarm systems for offices, so you can get the right level of detection and protection for your workplace. Here are just a few fire alarm types available to you through our professional installation and commissioning services:

  • Conventional fire alarm system – identifies the location of a fire by zones
  • Addressable fire alarm system – identifies the location of fire exactly via each detector
  • Wireless fire alarm system – avoids the use of cables, ideal for listed buildings, premises with high ceilings or those who want a clean aesthetic
  • Monitored fire alarm system – 24/7 monitoring via an alarm receiving centre so that keyholders and the local fire brigade can be alerted immediately


Providing a wide range of services and products to help you protect your office, we’re always happy to discuss requirements and book free site surveys. We cover London and the Home Counties, including Maidenhead, Guildford and Slough, with qualified engineers on hand to help you meet your legal obligations and protect the staff working in your office.

Call us today if you need an office fire risk assessment, a new fire alarm system or even fire doors for your space.

    Protect your business premises today

    Call us now on 08081 689 497 to find out more about our fire alarm design, installation and maintenance services.