Q&A with Kmart Australia: Implementing fire safety in the retail environment

Charles Hammersla, National Facilities & Compliance Manager at Kmart Australia answers our questions about fire safety in the retail environment. 

Charles Hammersla, National Facilities & Compliance Manager at Kmart Australia

Charles Hammersla, National Facilities & Compliance Manager at Kmart Australia

1. What fire protection challenges do retailers face?

Retailers have a duty of care to our teams and customers to protect them from fire risks when they visit or work in our premises. Generally, our stores are consistent in terms of merchandise mix and we also try to deliver a consistent shop floor layout. What this means is that our fire protection strategies can also be consistent across our stores.

The main challenge we tend to face is the human element – to keep the focus of our teams on maintaining general housekeeping standards, including those relating to sprinkler head or switchboard clearances, and egress path blockages.

Principally this means that we need to be consistent around our fire protection approach – and make it as easy as possible to control risks in our environments. Continue reading

A guide to the different types of fire extinguishers

By Dave Hipkins, national technical and product manager, Wormald New Zealand

fire extinguisher_blogHaving the right equipment is close at hand is vital for minimising the impact of fire. A serviced and functional fire extinguisher may mean the difference between a minor incident and devastating full scale fire.

When choosing a suitable fire extinguisher, one needs to consider which fire extinguishers will address the needs and hazards of each individual business environment.

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Mandatory sprinklers in aged care facilities a welcome move

By Garry Kwok, National Manager, Technical Services Group with Wormald Australia

From January 2013 automatic sprinkler systems will become a mandatory requirement of nursing homes and other residential aged care facilities throughout NSW.

It’s a decision which I’m sure will be welcomed by many as it will significantly enhance the safety of these living environments for the State’s older and most vulnerable citizens.

Given the tragic consequences of a fire at a Quakers Hill nursing home in November 2011, it is not surprising that many groups, including Council of the Ageing (COTA) are calling for this legislation to be extended to all nursing homes throughout the country.

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