When you own a business in the UK today, there are a whole lot of rules and regulations that did not exist 40 or 50 years ago. They have arrived one by one over the years, and one of the most important is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
This requires business owners and other operators to carry out a fire safety risk assessment of their business or other non-domestic premises, or in the case of a tenanted property a landlord fire risk assessment. If your business has more than five employees, you also have to keep a written record of your assessment and any actions taken as a result.
Unfortunately, carrying out a fire safety risk assessment can be problematic for the vast majority of business owners, for the simple reason that they have no training in this area.
For example, one of the things that you need to have is an evacuation plan in the event that a fire breaks out. The plan must show that you have a clear passageway to all escape routes, and clearly marked escape routes that are as short and direct as possible. You have to have enough exits and routes for all people to escape through emergency doors that open easily.
You also need to have emergency lighting if it is required (how do you know?) and you have to provide training so that all employees know the escape routes and how to use them. Then you need a safe meeting point for staff outside the building.
People With Special Needs
In addition to this, you also have to allow for people with special needs. For example, if you run a retail store you could very easily have people in it who use a wheelchair. How are you going to get them downstairs from the second floor if the lift is out of order?
You have to have a fire detection and warning system. Depending upon the type of building and the type of work that you do, you may need different types of detectors such as smoke detectors, and heat detectors which work differently.
What sort of fire-fighting equipment do you need? There are different types. And you may need some or all of them. Even if you know what sorts of fire extinguishers you need, do you know the best place to put them? Have you got fire escape route signs in the correct places? Have you got automatic fire doors, and if you have, do they close correctly? Are you aware that you have to check that fire alarm systems are working correctly on a regular basis? Is the emergency lighting (if installed) working properly?
If you own an HMO, how often must you carry out a landlord fire risk assessment? Have you installed thumb turn locks? Where should the fire doors be?
You can see why all this can be so difficult for many people to carry out a fire risk assessment so that they are compliant with the relevant legislation. This is why so many people prefer to use our services at UK-Fire Risk Assessments because we are the professionals and we can ensure that everything in your premises is covered, and that you will know if there is any action you need to take to remain compliant.