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The importance of fire safety in the workplace

The importance of fire safety in the workplace

Fire Safety is of the utmost importance in any building. As a business owner, you’re responsible for ensuring that your workplace meets all required health and safety standards.

It’s crucial that your working environment complies with all building regulations, to ensure the safety of your employees and the protection of your building. Fire safety should always be a main concern, no matter what type of business you run or how many people are employed.

A fire risk assessment must always be carried out, with a written record of it kept if the business employs five or more people. In order to carry out a fire risk assessment, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Identify the potential fire hazards – make a note of anything that could start a fire or easily burn, if found during the assessment
  2. Identify the people at risk – work out if the risk could be greater for some people (i.e., the disabled and elderly are especially vulnerable)
  3. Act on the findings – Evaluate, reduce or remove the potential risks
  4. Record – Keep a record of the findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide fire safety training
  5. Review – A fire risk assessment must be carried out regularly, with all findings updated and recorded.

Who is responsible for carrying out the fire risk assessment?

The assigned person in your business in charge of fire risk assessments is referred to as a Responsible Person. The Responsible Person must complete if competent or designate this task to a competent person in the business (or hire a third party) who must carry out and regularly review a fire safety risk assessment of the premises. In writing a fire risk assessment, they will identify what you need to do to prevent a fire and keep people safe. A Responsible Person could be:

  • The employer if the premises is a workplace
  • The managing agent or owner for shared parts of premises or shared fire safety equipment such as fire-warning systems or sprinklers
  • The occupier, such as self-employed people or voluntary organisations if they have any control
  • Any other person who has some control over a part of the premises While it is possible to carry out your own FRA, you may not want to do so if you don’t have the expertise or time or confidence – in such cases it’s critical to appoint a third party ‘competent person’ to help.

SOA’s expert fire risk assessors have all the relevant industry accreditations and latest industry knowledge. We will provide professional advice and highlight any areas for improvement, and can then assist in writing a comprehensive fire risk assessment report which you can keep for your records (as required by law).

During a fire risk assessment, there’s a number of things that have to be taken into account to ensure that it’s properly and thoroughly completed. These include planning out emergency routes and exits, fire detection and warning systems, and the appropriate firefighting equipment. It’s also important to provide suitable information to employees and anyone else in the workplace, as well as providing the appropriate staff training.

Fire safety should always be taken seriously, and there’s plenty of ways to easily prevent the event of a fire as much as possible.

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