Fire Risk Assessments
As previous experience has shown us, most fires are preventable and those responsible for workplaces and other buildings to which the public have access can avoid them by taking responsibility for and adopting the right behaviours and procedures.
In England and Wales, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 covers general fire safety and employers, as well as those responsible for workplaces and other non-domestic premises, for example building owners, landlords or occupiers, must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and keep it up to date.
The risk assessment should identify hazards and take steps to prevent fire in order to protect the safety of occupants, visitors and those in the immediate vicinity. Our fire safety consultants are able to help all those deemed as the ‘Responsible Person’ to meet and exceed their fire safety responsibilities by doing the following:
- Carrying out a fire risk assessment of the premises
- Instructing staff about the risks that have been identified
- Advising on the appropriate fire safety measures to be implemented
- Developing and helping to communicate the Emergency Plan
- Providing information, general fire safety instruction and training to staff, including Fire Warden/Marshall Training and Fire Extinguisher Training
Our comprehensive fire risk assessments include life safety assessments to meet the requirements of current legislation across the UK and property protection assessments to reduce and manage the potential for extensive property loss in the event of fire.
If there is a fire, the main priority is to ensure that everybody can reach a safe place quickly. Putting the fire out is absolutely secondary to this because the greatest danger from fire in the workplace is the spread of the fire and the heat and smoke caused by it. If a workplace does not have adequate means of detecting and giving warning or means of escape, a fire can trap people or they may be overcome by the heat and the smoke before they can evacuate.
Developing and communicating an Emergency Action Plan or Emergency Evacuation Plan is an imperative for any business to ensure that all aspects of the Risk Assessment and its findings have been practically applied.
All organisations need to have enough firefighting equipment, e.g. extinguishers, in place for their employees to use in fighting a fire in its earliest stages. The equipment must be suitable to the risks (the correct fire extinguisher for its purpose, for example) and employees should be trained in how to use it. There should also be no doubt as to when it is time to evacuate the building should the fire get out of control.
It is also important to have a Fire Safety Policy for the workplace which promotes good housekeeping and reduces the possibility of a fire occurring. All employees from day one should have an understanding of what is expected of them should a fire break out. Carelessness and neglect are two of the most common reasons cited for outbreaks of fire in the workplace.
Compliance with these duties may be routinely checked by the Fire Authority, or as the result of a fire related incident. The Company insurer will also require a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to be undertaken and any failings in fire safety measures may invalidate an insurance claim in the event of a fire.
OM Safety Solutions Ltd can also provide organisations and individuals with information on implementing the latest fire protection measures, for new and existing premises alike. In addition we offer fire safety audits, investigation and consultancy services in support of all aspects of fire protection and loss prevention.
Contact us to find out how we can help your business remain safe and compliant, or to arrange a free consultation with one of our expert consultants.