It is vitally important for business owners and managers to understand their duty to comply with UK fire safety regulations, as the consequences are potentially very serious. This blog outlines responsibilities but please contact us for a full, bespoke consultation.
Anyone who owns non-domestic premises, is an employer, landlord, or occupier, or who has control of business premises such as a managing agent or facilities manager, is known as the “responsible person”, and could be held accountable in the event of tragedy.
There may be more than one responsible person, in which case they must work together and accept equal responsibility for meeting the regulatory requirements.
All businesses with more than four employees must keep a written fire risk assessment, although it is also a good idea to do this if you employ fewer staff. A fire risk assessment forms the basis of all fire safety procedures and preventative actions.
In order to meet a company's legal obligations, a fire risk assessment should:
- be site specific
- portray an accurate and honest account of the fire safety arrangements in place at their premises
- be reviewed regularly (annually).
A fire risk assessment must evaluate:
- the type and number of people at risk
- potential sources of ignition, oxygen and fuel
- precautions taken to prevent or restrict the spread of fire - fire doors, sprinkler systems
- the fire detection in place to alert occupants safe egress - fire escape routes should be clearly identified, kept clear from obstruction and covered by emergency lighting
- the information and training provided to staff and visitors relating to fire procedures
- identify and record significant findings or persons at risk
- nominate persons responsible to implement the emergency plan.
What fire safety equipment might you need?
Although requirements vary according to individual businesses and their risk of fire, you will need some or all of the following:
- Portable fire extinguishers that are the correct type for your business, and that undergo certificated annual maintenance
- Sprinkler systems
- Fire hose reels
- Fire detection system, including a fire alarm that is tested weekly
- Emergency lighting
- Fire safety training for all members of staff
Additionally, all business are required to display at least two fire safety signs – a Fire Action Notice, and an Extinguisher ID Sign that displays the location of each extinguisher and explains how to use them.
What are the potential ramifications of a fire in your business?
Some of the less serious breaches of fire regulations can still attract fines of as much as £5,000, with financial penalties for serious offences potentially being unlimited, running alongside up to two years’ imprisonment.
Of course, even if no-one has been hurt, suffering a fire in your business premises is a traumatic event for all involved. In fact, many businesses do not recover. Their inability to trade effectively or deal with existing customers/orders, often leads to insolvency over a period of time, particularly if they do not have a business continuity plan in place.
Bridge Fire provides a professional and personal approach to the maintenance and installation of fire alarm systems and extinguishers.
Through its team of engineers, Bridge can claim over 75 years of experience, covering a wide range of fire alarm systems across a broad spectrum of organisations.
We offer a survey service to establish your needs & examine your requirements thoroughly, before offering advice or recommending a suitable solution. A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) is the starting point for all fire precautions activity. Your FRA should be reviewed and updated continuously to keep a 'live' document.
Bridge Fire’s team of highly skilled, BAFE approved engineers can provide comprehensive service and maintenance on all types of fire safety equipment. By adding RedCARE monitoring to your fire alarm system, you can rest assured that the emergency services will be alerted and attend at the earliest opportunity.