Fire Risk Assessment
Fire Safety Order Approved by House of Lords.
The law regarding Fire Safety in the UK has changed. On 1st October 2006 the Regulatory reform (Fire & safety) order, came into force. All existing fire legislation will be repealed including the Fire Precautions Act 1971, Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997/99, Management of Health & Safety in the Workplace Regulations 1999 + 100 pieces of related legislation will be replaced with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
Fire certificates will no longer be issued to all but certain high risk establishments. This has now been replaced with the requirement for fire safety risk assessment. Employers have become solely responsible for fire safety within their workplaces.
The new regulations apply to all workplaces/premises, with only a few exceptions.
The requirement for comprehensive and unique fire risk assessments remains. Each individual company is responsible for their own fire safety. The employer must conduct a fire risk assessment regardless of the size of the risk, Staff Fire Training, Fire Warden Training and the provision of fire emergency plans and maintenance of adequate fire safety precautions. The companies identified responsible person would therefore take full corporate liability.
While additional responsibilities must also be considered:
Extended scope of consideration now to include property safety, fire fighter safety and the environment around the site as well as just protecting life. This means that allowing a building to be sacrificed is unacceptable due to the risk to neighbouring buildings and fire fighters. The responsible person would have a duty to protect the fire brigade and ensure all members of staff partake in Fire Training & Fire Warden Training as appropriate.
The appointment of one or more employees to assist in ensuring compliance with the regulations (such as a Fire Warden).
The purpose of fire fighting equipment is clarified, in that it is there to enable a small fire to be attacked to prevent it spreading. Therefore, you will need to ensure there has been training on the correct use of fire fighting equipment.
* A new emphasis on business continuity, while in the event of a fire containing it and preventing the spread of small fires.
* Protection must now not be just for employees, Visitors and contractors. Fire fighters and passers-by also have to be considered while carrying out both the risk assessment and Fire Training.
This will mean
You will no longer be policed on whether you are following the regulations – it’s up to you.
But, in the case of an event and following investigation you were found to have been negligent in one or more areas you will be prosecuted.
WHICH PROPERTIES MUST COMPLY?
All places of work.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLIANCE?
Every person who has control/responsibility of a workplace.
Persons who have any contract or tenancy when it relates to –
a: the maintenance or repair of the workplace.
b: the safety of the workplace.
Any person who is carrying on with a trade/business is responsible for their premises.
The owner of a property, when for instance the premises are unoccupied.
1. FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT MEASURES
Adequate means of detecting fire should be provided.
Adequate means to raise the alarm should be provided.
Adequate and suitable provision for first aid fire fighting equipment should be positioned in the relevant place.
First aid fire fighting equipment should be accessible and sited in relevant position.
Note on signs: Correct reference to appropriate signing should be taken from the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
This regulation states that:
Every employer shall ensure that comprehensible and relevant information on the measures to be taken in connection with safety signs is provided to their employees.
Every employer shall ensure that each of his employees receives suitable and sufficient instruction and training in the meaning of safety signs and the measures to be taken in connection with safety signs.
BS 5499 Part 4 2000 shows the most comprehensively understood graphical symbols and fully satisfies EC Directive 92/58/EEC and the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
For hospitals see also HTM 65 Part 2 for graphical symbols.
Any non-automatic fire fighting equipment so provided should be indicated by signs or the appropriate safety colour (red).
3. ADEQUATE TRAINING OF PERSONNEL
Where necessary certain employees should be nominated and trained to implement the above measures and any in-house emergency policies that you operate.
With adequate fire fighting equipment in place all employees should be trained to implement the safe use of the equipment without involving risk to them selves. Training should also involve procedures to enable safe evacuation.
4. ESCAPE ROUTES AND EXITS
Adequate escape routes and exits should be provided and available where necessary according to the following principles:
Escape routes and exits should lead as directly as possible to a place of safety.
In the event of danger employees should be able to evacuate the workplace quickly and as safely as possible.
The amount, distribution and dimensions of escape routes and exits should be adequate in accordance to the size, type and maximum number of people who use the building.
Emergency doors should open in the direction of escape.
Sliding or revolving doors should not be used for emergency exits.
Escape and exit doors should be easily and immediately opened by any person requiring to do so and should not be locked or fastened.
Escape routes and exits should be indicated by appropriate signs.
Escape routes and exits should be adequately illuminated at all material times and adequate provision for escape route illumination should be made for the failure of their normal lighting.
All fire fighting equipment, alarms and detecting systems should be adequately maintained.
Periodic testing of any fire safety equipment should take place.
Records of risk assessments should be kept.
All maintenance should be recorded and logged.
Management of fire safety should be recorded and appropriate log books kept..
Wessex Fire can help you with this new legislation. Through many years of experience we are able to assist you on a consultancy basis as well as correcting any remedial work that may have to be carried out.
Contact us now on 01983 862765 for any further information that you require.
THIS NEW LEGISLATION CAME INTO FORCE ON THE 1st October 2006
For further information please contact us
Fire Risk Solutions
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