Laws regarding Fire Safety came into force on 1st October 2006 with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The regulations apply to all workplaces in England and Wales, and they aim to reduce deaths, injuries and damage caused by fire by placing a greater emphasis on fire prevention.
Under the legislation, businesses will no longer be issued with fire certificates. Instead, the employer or 'responsible person' for that building will be directly liable for fire safety of the premises.
This means that employers are required by law to carry out fire safety risk assessments and ensure that necessary precautions are taken to reduce or remove the risk of fire.
When carrying out a fire risk assessment and fire training, the 'responsible person' must not only think about the protection of employees, visitors and contractors, they also have a duty to ensure the safety of the property itself, the safety of firefighters and passers-by, and the environment around the property.
Employers also need to appoint a competent person(s) to act as Fire Warden to carry out necessary checks and ensure they comply with regulations.
Firefighting equipment should be readily available to contain and prevent the spread of a small fire and necessary training should be given to employees to ensure the correct use of equipment.
If the 'responsible person' is found to be negligent in one or more of these areas in the event of a fire, they could find themselves facing legal action.
Non-domestic premises which are defined as:
If you're an owner, landlord or occupier of business or other non-domestic premises, you'll be responsible for fire safety. You’re known as the 'responsible person'. The Fire Safety Order also applies if you have paying guests, e.g. if you run a bed and breakfast, guesthouse or let a self-catering property.
1. FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT MEASURES
Adequate means of detecting fire should be provided.
Adequate means to raise the alarm should be provided.
Adequate and suitable provision for first aid fire fighting equipment should be positioned in the relevant place.
First aid fire fighting equipment should be accessible and sited in relevant position.
Note on signs: Correct reference to appropriate signing should be taken from the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
This regulation states that:
Every employer shall ensure that comprehensible and relevant information on the measures to be taken in connection with safety signs is provided to their employees.
Every employer shall ensure that each of his employees receives suitable and sufficient instruction and training in the meaning of safety signs and the measures to be taken in connection with safety signs.
BS 5499 Part 4 2000 shows the most comprehensively understood graphical symbols and fully satisfies EC Directive 92/58/EEC and the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
For hospitals see also HTM 65 Part 2 for graphical symbols.
Any non-automatic fire fighting equipment so provided should be indicated by signs or the appropriate safety colour (red).
3. ADEQUATE TRAINING OF PERSONNEL
Where necessary certain employees should be nominated and trained to implement the above measures and any in-house emergency policies that you operate.
With adequate fire fighting equipment in place all employees should be trained to implement the safe use of the equipment without involving risk to themselves. Training should also involve procedures to enable safe evacuation.
4. ESCAPE ROUTES AND EXITS
Adequate escape routes and exits should be provided and available where necessary according to the following principles:
All fire fighting equipment, alarms and detecting systems should be adequately maintained.
Periodic testing of any fire safety equipment should take place.
Records of risk assessments should be kept.
All maintenance should be recorded and logged.
Management of fire safety should be recorded and appropriate log books kept.
Fire Risk Solutions can help you with this legislation. Through many years of experience our assessors are able to assist you competitively on a consultancy basis as well as correcting any remedial work that may have to be carried out.
Contact us now on 0800 634 8645 or fill in the form below for a free No Obligation Fire Risk Assessment Quote, or any further information that you may require.