Fire safety roles and responsibilities

As an employer, you’re responsible for the health and safety and welfare of your employees at work which includes your fire safety responsibilities.

We know under the current circumstances your fire safety responsibilities might have been pushed to the back of your mind which is why our experienced professionals have outlined some steps for you to take to protect everyone on your premises.

Fires in the workplace

Fire safety doesn’t always spring to mind as a top priority for business owners however fires can occur in a variety of ways with cat­astrophic consequences. In 2004 (England and Wales), fire and rescue services attended over 33,400 fires in non-domestic buildings. These fires killed 38 people and injured over 1,300. In many cases where a severe fire has occurred, many businesses do not reopen.

Fire safety checklist

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As an employer, business owner, or a person responsible for your building, you have specific fire roles and responsibilities which include:

  • Making sure you have an appointed competent person to carry out fire inspections and assessments.
  • Ensuring all your employees are aware of the risks that have been identified during the Fire Risk Assessment.
  • Putting in place and maintaining adequate fire safety measures based on the findings from your Fire Risk Assessment and ensuring that these are all communicated to your employees.
  • Making sure you have a properly tested plan in place in the event of an emergency.
  • Keeping your employees updated with relevant information, training, and fire safety instructions.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it’s your legal responsibility to carry out regular Fire Risk Assessments. If you have five or more employees, it’s a requirement to record the significant findings.

You might conduct your Fire Risk Assessments yourself if your premises are simple or you might appoint a competent person to do it if you don’t understand what is required or your business is complex. Whatever the case may be, the responsibility still falls on your shoulders to make sure the job is carried out efficiently and regularly reviewed.

We know that as an employer you might have other responsibilities that might need immediate attention and your fire safety might take a backseat. Although this may seem like the easier option at the time, you mustn’t avoid carrying out your fire safety measures which is why our accredited professionals can conduct your Fire Risk Assessment for you.

In the event of an evacuation

To help you put together an effective evacuation plan that protects everyone on your premises, our experts have outlined the following points:

  • Check the existing escape routes are adequate for the number and types of people that may need to use them.
  • Make sure the exits are in the right place and the escape routes lead as directly as possible to a place of total safety.
  • Assess all available exits so if there is a fire, there will be at least one route that remains available to evacuate to.
  • Check all escape routes and final exits are kept clear at all times.
  • Evaluate all final exit doors to make sure they can be opened easily and immediately if there is an emergency.
  • Assess if everybody can safely use the escape routes in your premises or if anyone requires additional assistance.
  • Make sure there are enough escape routes to allow everyone to evacuate whilst maintaining social distancing.
  • Have installed emergency lighting where necessary.
  • Check that all the people who work in the building are aware of the importance of maintaining the safety of the escape routes, e.g., by ensuring that fire doors are not wedged open and that combustible materials are not stored within escape routes.
  • Are up to date with all employee escape route training with new COVID-19 measures.

The cost of getting it wrong

Your local fire service may visit your business’ premises at any time, and they may be looking to see if your fire safety measures are up to scratch. If they’re not up to scratch, you could be issued with an informal notice or in more serious cases, a formal notice that could lead to a prosecution against you.

How Citation Fire & Electrical can help

To make sure everyone within your business is protected from the risk of fire, we offer services ranging from Fire Risk Assessments and Fire Alarm Maintenance to Fire Extinguisher Servicing and Emergency Light Testing – all provided by our BAFE qualified and FIA trained assessors.

We pride ourselves on offering reliable and rigorous services to our clients, as well as ongoing support. Our processes are continuously audited to make sure the service you receive is always second to none.

To find out more click here.