Here is something that many employers may not even be aware of: as an employer you are required – by law – to safeguard your employees as far as is reasonably possible. That’s fair enough. One might think that everyone would agree that is a good requirement.
However, here is where it can get difficult. All employers – even if you only have one employee – are required to carry out a fire risk assessment of their premises, and furthermore, if you employ more than five people you are required to keep a written report of your findings and any action taken as a result of them.
Even that, on the face of it, may seem reasonable. That is, until you start looking into it and begin to wonder how on earth you carry out a fire risk assessment when you don’t know what to look for, which is the situation in which most employers find themselves.
Let us suppose you are an accountant. You have a range of clients in different fields, but when you start to look at their accounts you understand the law and you can advise them where they can make changes in order to reduce their tax liability. That is what they are paying you for, after all: your expertise in the tax law and your knowledge of it that can help them to save money – legally. But your clients don’t understand all that themselves, otherwise they wouldn’t need your advice.
You can begin to see where this is heading. You are an accountant, not a specialist in the finer arts of what might or might not catch fire in your office and whether or not you should store your clients’ books in a certain part of the building or whether it might be a fire risk if you do. How would you know? It isn’t something that you have been trained to look for.
Oh sure, some things are obvious. But others are not. For instance, how many electrical items can you run off one socket? You may have all sorts of things – PC’s, lights, a router, possibly a TV, a radio, and so on – all plugged into extension leads running from one or two sockets, for the simple reason that your office only has two sockets in a particular room but you need all these gadgets in order to run your business.
How can you possibly know if that is safe or not? Or if it is a fire risk? Here is something that you may not know: the major cause of fires in flats is overloaded sockets! And yet, the law requires you to make that assessment!
This is why you simply cannot do it yourself. If you don’t have the necessary training you need somebody who does, and that would be us at UK-Fire Risk Assessments. We can carry out your fire risk assessment and provide you with a fire risk survey report as the law requires.