We come across many businesses who still do not understand fully what is required of them under the fire safety order since its introduction in 2006.
This can be down to numerous reasons from lack of knowledge, financial or even some business owners just cannot be bothered.
Whatever the reason may be you are required by law to keep your staff and any visitors as safe as reasonably practicable to do so.
The following gives you an insight on what is required and will help you in meeting the standards required.
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
“The legal requirement to have an effective fire safety management plan”.
The Responsible Person: Defined as "the person who owns or controls the business or premises".
This person is responsible for the safety of employees and other relevant persons by effective management of the following:
Fire Risk Assessment.
Required when your business has 5 or more employees to help identify any risk on your business premises and allow you to take steps to reduce the risk.
Fire Safety Policy.
A policy that details your company fire safety management procedures to be followed by all staff and visitors to your premises.
Fire Procedures (such as evacuation).
Procedures all staff and visitors should follow in the event of an alarm sounding or reported fire.
Adequate training that should include what to do in the vet of an alarm sounding, how to raise the alarm, location of fire exits & assembly points etc. Further training should be given to those nominated in the use of installed fire extinguishers (normally fire marshals).
The frequency is dependent on the fire risks within your premises but should be no less than 1 fire drill per year.
Means of Escape.
Designated escape routes are routes that will be used in the event of an emergency therefore they should be identified to staff and kept clear of obstruction at all times.
Signs and Notices.
The correct signage should be installed for all fire equipment, escape routes and fire doors etc. Fire Action posters should also be visible that detail what to do in the event of an alarm and nominated assembly points.
Designed and installed to offer safe passage out of a building in the event of a mains power failure. Escape routes, stairwells & fire exits etc should all be covered by emergency lighting where required.
The type of alarm is dependent upon your premises. The purpose of the alarm is to warn all occupants of the building there is a possible fire and that they should evacuate as trained immediately. It is important that your fire alarm is maintained to cut down on the risk of faults and false alarms.
Installed to offer a solution for small fires and can often be the difference in a fire progressing to a much worse state. They should be installed in conspicuous areas and maintained on an annual basis as well as monthly user checks carried out.
When correctly maintained fire doors can save life and property. They should never be held open and kept in a good state of repair. Gaps of more than 3mm between the door and leaf could result in failure in the event of a fire so it is important that inspections are carried out.
The Responsible person should nominate one or more competent persons to assist in the management and development of the above procedures.
This can be in house or through a third party company.
Failure to carry out these responsibilities could result in enforcement leading to prosecution or even imprisonment.
All checks and training should be recorded in your Fire Safety Log Book as a record for you and to show when the relevant checks were carried out if you are ever required to do so. You can download our Free Log Book here for your use.
If you would like assistance or advice on anything highlighted within this article please do not hesitate to contact us.