Fire Risk Safety Assessment

The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations clearly place the responsibility for complying with regulations on the employer, or on the person who has control of the workplace where the requirements of the regulations relate to matters under their control. Failure to comply with fire safety regulations could lead to fines and even prosecution.

Employers have to assess the fire risks in all their premises; ensure that there are suitable emergency escape routes; provide fire fighting equipment that is maintained and tested, and have plans for emergencies in place and have staff trained to implement them.

Risk assessment is a massive undertaking, and one that requires expert knowledge. How can the majority of employers be expected to carry out this critical assessment alone? The answer quite simply is they can’t! Unless you are a safety expert you can’t be expected to carry out the essential steps in a fire risk assessment that identify the measures necessary for fire prevention and protection.

Fire safety is one area that cannot be compromised, if you are in any doubt about your workplace please give us a call on the number above and let us provide you with some professional assistance – it’s wise to be advised!

To help you achieve your fire safety at work objectives we have provided a list of fire safety related questions. If you answer NO to any of these questions, you are not complying with regulations and additional action needs to be taken. 

 

Have you assessed the fire risks within your work place? 

In assessing your fire risk would you know what to look for? 

Can a fire be detected quickly and staff alerted? 

Can all staff and visitor evacuate safely? 

Do you have adequate fire fighting equipment, located correctly and of the correct type? 

Do your staff know what to do in the case of a fire? 

Have your staff had proper training in fire safety? 

Have you carried out an evacuation drill in the last 12 months? 

If you employ more than 5 people, do you have a written risk assessment identifying risk and the action taken to eliminate them? 

 

In order to achieve these objectives your company needs to address the following issues: 

1. Fire Risk Assessment 

The company must assess and record the fire risk in the work place, taking into account the size of the workplace and workforce, the escape routes, materials used in construction, the work carried out, the equipment used and properties of substances used. Companies often appoint competent, qualified contractors, such as FireSafe, to carry out a full fire risk assessment. 

2. Fire Detection and Alarms 

Measures must be in place to detect and alert staff. Depending on the premises are smoke/heat detectors in place? Is a sprinkler system required? Does the premises have adequate manual call points connected to an alarm? 

3. Evacuation 

The staff and visitors must be able to evacuate quickly and safely. Escape routes must be an integral part of the building and be clear, unobstructed and well marked at all times. Staff must be well trained on what to do in case of a fire and have regular fire drills to achieve a quick and safe evacuation. Staff must know where to assemble in a safe area outside. 

4. Fire Fighting Equipment 

Does the building have adequate fire fighting equipment? This must be assessed regularly due to changes in the work place such as new equipment, new substances being used or the rearrangement of the work area. 

5. Training 

It is a legal requirement that staff are adequately trained in health and safety at work, which includes fire equipment training. This must take place on a regular basis. Some staff may have special responsibilities during a fire, so additional training should be given. 

6. Fire Fighting Equipment Must Be Tested 

A monthly check is recommended to ensure extinguishers are correctly sited, and have not been discharged or damaged. A more detailed annual check should be carried out by suitably trained staff or a contracted service engineer. The extinguishers should have an extended service every 5 years and overhaul/replacement every 20 years. Detectors, alarms and water sprinklers must be maintained and tested. 

7. Emergency Signs 

Emergency signs and fire alarm signs must now have an explanatory picture, such as a running man, which can be understood at a glance.

 

An important element in fire safety at work is to ensure that adequate records are kept. A log book detailing staff training, dates of evacuations and alarm tests, copies of regular safety checks etc, will not only prove to the inspectors that you are complying with regulations, but will also ensure that fire safety can be planned and managed in an efficient and effective way.

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