How the Fire Safety Act 2021 Affects Your Business

The Fire Safety Act was introduced to Parliament in March 2020 and became a key piece of legislation when it was passed on 29 April 2021. The purpose of the Fire Safety Act 2021 is to provide clarity on who’s responsible for the management of fire safety for both domestic and non-domestic premises where there’s more than one responsible person. It’s an amendment of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and aims to improve clarity on all fire safety roles and responsibilities.

The need for this amendment became clear after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, which drew attention to the lack of clarity in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. When the Fire Safety Act was passed in 2021, it provided people with more clarification on:

  • The person responsible for the overall fire safety management of communal areas, external walls and overall building structure (especially high-rise structures) in domestic and non-domestic premises.
  • Who enforces the legislation and what the consequences are for those who don’t comply.
  • What managers, business owners, and responsible person(s) need to do to make sure their fire safety measures are up to scratch.

 

Who the Fire Safety Act 2021 applies to

If you don’t think the Fire Safety Act 2021 affects you as a manager, business owner, or responsible person, you’re probably wrong! So, to make sure you’re up to speed with your responsibilities under the new regulations, we’ve outlined the key measures you need to stay on top of to protect your business and your employees.

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1.    Update your Fire Risk Assessment

Despite the new legislation coming into place, a survey carried out by fire safety experts JLA proved that businesses still have a long way to go to keep on top of their fire safety compliance. JLA’s survey looked at 250 business owners and found that a third (38%) of them didn’t have suitable Fire Risk Assessments in place and more than 80% of them didn’t have written regulations on false fire alarms and the risks they pose in their company handbooks.

So, are you confident your Fire Risk Assessment is suitable and sufficient? To make sure it is, we’ve put a handy guide together so you can rest assured you’ve got everything covered.

 

2.    Routinely check your fire doors

The purpose of your fire door is to stop the spread of a fire if one breaks out on your premises. But, if they’re not routinely inspected by a Competent Person, how can you be sure that they’re up to the job? On top of your fire door audits, your responsible person should carry out regular visual inspections to check that:

  • There’s no physical damage
  • The fire door isn’t propped or wedged open at any time
  • The gaps between your door and frame comply with fire safety regulations
  • Your fire door has the correct certification – i.e., all iron materials such as locks and handles must be CE marked and compatible with the door’s leaf certificate
  • The door’s closer shuts the door onto the latch from any position.

For support with your fire doors, we recommend you review the guidance set out by the government so you can be sure that your business complies with the Fire Safety Act 2021. And, as always, our experts are available to answer any questions you might have – simply click here to get in touch.

 

3.    Perform regular fire alarm checks

Your fire alarms play a crucial role in ensuring a safe evacuation should a fire break out in your business. That’s why proper management of your Fire Alarm Maintenance is not only a legal requirement, but also a necessity to protect anyone who interacts with your site on a daily basis.

The recent JLA survey found that only 20% of the observed business owners confirmed that they have their fire alarms tested on a routine basis, and most (80%) of the business owners said they haven’t provided their employees with training on the common causes of false fire alarms.

No matter what your business type is, there are a few measures which are key to getting everyone out of the building quickly and safely in the event of a fire: routine visual inspections, twice-yearly tests, regular employee training, and making people aware of their fire safety responsibilities. You can read more about the importance of maintaining your fire alarms by checking out our new article.

Once you can confirm that your business has all the right fire safety measures in place, up to scratch, and reflected in your fire safety logbook, you can confidently say that your business complies with the Fire Safety Act 2021.

 

How Citation Fire & Electrical can help

As a BAFE registered compliance provider, fire safety is our bread and butter. We’ve supported thousands of businesses nationwide with their fire and electrical safety, providing efficient and great-value services to businesses of all sizes and industries.

Our fire risk assessors undergo regular training and routine audits so they can provide businesses with first-class Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Alarm Maintenance, Fire Extinguisher Servicing, and Emergency Light Testing.

If you need support or have any questions about the Fire Safety Act 2021 and how it affects your business, you can get in touch with our service team by calling 0800 055 6559 or by filling out our enquiry form.

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