Business Safety Week is a week dedicated to ensuring that business owners from all parts of the country are up to date with the law on business fire safety and know how to keep their business and its staff safe and happy in the workplace.
As a Fire and Security company, we are fully qualified to help you as a business owner to comply with all relevant laws and regulations. Thanks to our NSI Gold status, you can be confident that we will offer you advice and service that is high quality. Our engineers are trained to design a system that suits your business’ individual layout, needs, and budget.
Our main priority is delivering good, honest customer service. As part our our service, we offer tips on how to protect your business and the people in it. During Business Safety Week 2017, we have compiled a list of a few business fire safety tips that you might not consider during the everyday running of your business but can in fact be life-saving.
Perform Regular Fire Drills
Fire drills are routines that we all know are important, but when was the last time you ran one? It is crucial that drills are performed frequently in order to create a sense of calm and organisation should a real evacuation occur.
The Government regulations state that you must train new staff when they start work and tell all employees about any new fire risks. It is also recommended that you carry out at least one fire drill per year and record the results. You must keep the results as part of your fire safety and evacuation plans.
Ensure You Have A Fire Risk Assessment In Place
A fire risk assessment helps you to identify fire hazards in the workplace and ensures that you know what to do to prevent fire and keep your employees safe.
The Government states that you must have a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business has 5 or more people. The responsible person/business owner must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises. Here’s how to carry out the risk assessment:
- Identify the fire hazards
- Identify the people at risk
- Evaluate, remove, or reduce the risks
- Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan, and provide any training
- Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly
When carrying out your assessment, you’ll need to consider the following:
- emergency routes and exits
- fire detection and warning systems
- fire-fighting equipment
- the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances
- an emergency fire evacuation plan
- the needs of vulnerable people (such as the elderly, young people, and those with disabilities)
- providing information to employees and other people on the premises
- staff fire safety training
R Security Alarms cannot carry out fire risk assessments for you however, there are people you can ask for help. A “competent person” may be appointed (such as a professional risk assessor) to help you carry it out. Your local fire and rescue service might be able to give you advice but they cannot carry out the risk assessment for you.
There are guidelines to help you on the Government’s website depending on your type of business.
Ensure You Have A Working Fire Detection System
If a fire alarm is deemed to be necessary, a system of maintenance is required. Otherwise, the user would be in breach of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
“Where necessary, in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons, the Responsible Person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment, and devices provided in respect of the premises under this order […] are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and be maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”
“Paragraph (1) only applied to facilities, equipment, and devices under other enactments where they areprovided in connection with other fire precautions.”[Note. This means that all fire safety equipment, such as fire detection and alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and emergency lighting must be kept in good working order by regular servicing and repairs.]
The word “must” means that this is obligatory and failure to comply is a criminal offence.
The manager, owner, or Responsible Person can comply with these regulations by arranging for regular maintenance of the system by a competent company. This would demonstrate due dilligence. This law applies to England and Wales.
For more information on the Government’s guidelines for business fire safety, visit their website here.