Fire is a serious risk to your people and property, with the consequences being destructive, costly and potentially life-threatening.
If you are a business-owner, or you are employed to take responsibility for fire safety within the organisation that you work, you must be aware of the legal obligations that surround fire safety. In this article, we look at the essential measures you must take as the 'responsible person', and the services Allcooper offer to help you ensure protection, compliance and continuity for your business.
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order was first introduced in 2006, and was created to simplify previous UK legislation and documentation surrounding fire safety. In the UK, the Fire Safety Order encapsulates the rules that must be followed and the requirements that must be met.
The Fire Safety Order is summarised within a number of guidance documents that each apply to different types of of property. These include:
• Offices and shops
• Factories and warehouses
• Sleeping accomodation
• Residential care premises
• Educational premises
• Small and medium places of assembly (holding 300 people or less)
• Large places of assembly (over 300 people)
• Theatres, cinemas and similar premises
• Open air events and venues
• Healthcare premises
• Animal premises and stables
• Transport premises and facilities
Who is the 'responsible person'?
For every UK business, adherence to the Fire Safety Order falls to the 'responsible person'. This also applies to owners/landords of multi-occupied residential properties.
You are responsible person if you are:
• The employer
• The business owner
• The landlord of the property
• An occupier of the property
• Someone responsible for managing the property (e.g. facilities manager, building manager, managing agent)
If there are more than one responsible persons, this will require you to work together.
Read more from the GOV.UK website
What are the responsibilities?
As the responsible person, you are required, by law, to ensure a sufficient level of fire protection for the building. These responsibilities are outlined within the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and include:
• To carry out a Fire Risk Assessment
• To ensure your employees are aware of the identified risks
• To put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
• To regularly test your systems and provide a plan for an emergency
• To provide fire safety instructions and training to staff and occupants
Carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment
A Fire Risk Assessment aims to provide you with a suitable plan for fire risk management.
We recommend that Risk Assessments are carried out at a minimum of every three years, however you should always review your Risk Assessment following any significant change to your building. This could include changes to its layout, the people accessing the building on a regular basis or the introduction of new equipment or technology.
The Fire Risk Assessment will allow you to:
• Recognise the fire hazards
• Identify the people at risk (your staff and members of the public)
• Assess, remove and take measures to minimise the recognised risks
• Record the findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training for your staff
• Review and update the building Fire Risk Assessment regularly
To ensure your Fire Risk Assessment requirements are addressed in full, it is recommended to employ the services of competent Fire Risk Assessment company or assessor. Here at Allcooper, we are able to carry out Fire Risk Assessments on your behalf, adhering to the guidance Fire Safety Order. We are also able to help you address and shortcomings in your Risk Assessment through our range of fire protection services.
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If you would like to book a Fire Risk Assessment for your business, call us on 01452 372626 or click here to send us an enquiry
Fire Protection Services
Once you have had your Fire Risk Assessment carried out, you should have a clear understanding of the actions you must take to ensure the safety of your premises and compliance with the Fire Safety Order. Depending on the outcome of your assessment, this may include the installation of a new fire protection system, or the upgrading of an existing system.
Allcooper are experts in providing a range of fire protection systems and services to help minimise risk, prevent the spread of fire, and provide early warning to the occupants of the building.
The foundation for your protection will include a professionally installed Fire Alarm, incorporating a central control panel with smoke detection, heat detection and aspirating detection devices. These systems can be 'addressable' or 'conventional', depending on your preference.
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Fire Extinguishers are a reassuring presence in any building. They are used to combat and prevent the spread of fire. There are various types of extinguishers available, each containing a different substance such as water, powder or foam. These are typically available in 3, 6 and 9 litre sizes. Carrying out a full Fire Risk Assessment will allow you to determine which types of extinguishers you need, how many and where they should be located. Practical use of an extinguisher should only take place in the event of a fire, and ideally, by a person who has undergone Fire Training. This includes knowledge of which type of extinguisher to use on which type of fire, and how to use them properly.
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Fire Training is designed to ensure your employees or occupants are best prepared to deal with an incident of fire. The responsible person must provide adequate information, instruction and training to their colleagues or residents about the fire risks, precautions and protections equipment installed within the building.
There are a handful of training courses available. These include:
Fire Safety Basic Awareness Training
Fire prevention training begins with the importance of fire awareness. This fire training covers the basic knowledge needed to ensure employees are aware of fire risks and how to minimise them. Topics include identifying sources of ignition, the spread of fire, fire protection measures, liaison with the emergency services, the importance of regular testing, recording and more.
Fire Warden Training
You may have specific individuals within your building that act as 'Fire Wardens' or 'Fire Marshals'. These people volunteer responsibility to assist with safe evacuation of the building in the event of a fire. This training course ensures they are fully-aware of their role and responsibilities and a warden.
Fire Extinguisher Training
This course helps ensure your people are trained to use Fire Extinguishers effectively and safely. They will also learn about the many 'classes of fire' and which extinguisher types should or shouldn't be used.
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If you would like to book a Fire Training Course, call us on 01452 372626 or click here to send us an enquiry