Confident your business premises comply with fire regulations?
Fire safety legislation applies to all business premises and any premises open to the public.
If your business has premises open to the public, the legislation applies to you whether you are self-employed, a charity, a not for-profit or voluntary organisation, a contractor if you have some degree of control over premises. Under the legislation, you would be the responsible person and you would need to make sure your premises comply.
The legislation imposes a legal duty on responsible persons to ensure the safety of anyone using the premises if there were a fire.
How confident are you that your business premises meet the requirements?
How recent is your Fire Risk Assessment?
You are required to carry out a fire risk assessment with the purpose of identifying and reducing the risks of a fire in your premises. You should consider the risks of a fire starting, how the fire might spread and act to reduce the risks of anyone getting injured.
You should aim to identify where a fire might start as well as things that could burn and spread the fire. Have you considered what could happen if somebody tried to start a fire deliberately? Is there anything around your premises they could use? Could you reduce the risks by removing or securing flammable items?
How are you going to ensure that everyone stays safe if there were a fire?
You should identify who might get hurt if there were a fire such as members of staff and visitors. Consider anyone at a greater risk such as members of staff with mobility issues who may experience difficulties in exiting the building quickly and without the use of lifts. What sort of fire alarm system do you have in place? Who will ensure everyone is out of the premises? Who will call the fire service? What do you have in place to extinguish small fires to stop them spreading? What training has your staff had? What are your planned escape routes? How quickly can you ensure that everyone is out safely? Are they adequately marked to ensure people can escape at night and when its dark?
Record, Plan and Train
If you have five or more staff members, you have an obligation to keep record of your Risk Assessment including details of the steps you have taken to remove or reduce the risks. If you have smaller premises, it is still a good idea.
You should have a clear plan of how to prevent fire and how you will keep everyone safe if there were to be a fire.
If you share your premises with other people, you should work to coordinate your fire safety plans.
Your staff should know the plan and should be trained. It is a good idea to regularly review the fire risk assessment and fire safety plan regularly. Risks can change over time and you should ensure the plan is fit for purpose.
If you would like help navigating the Regulatory Framework affecting your business, contact SNS Law and one of our experienced solicitors will be happy to guide you through.