If you run any sort of business that operates in non-domestic premises – which is virtually all businesses except those run from home – you are responsible for fire safety on those premises. According to government guidelines, non-domestic premises are all workplaces and commercial premises, all premises the public have access to, and the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings.
You could be the owner of the premises, an occupier, an employer, the landlord, or anybody else with control of the building such as a building manager, managing agent, and so on. Whichever one applies, it makes you what is described in the legislation as the “responsible person”.
As such, you have a number of duties, not the least of which is that you must carry out a fire risk assessment and undertake any necessary steps to make improvements if a risk is found. For instance, you might keep flammable liquids in a storeroom which also houses paper, cloth, and so on which could be a serious risk of fire. A simple answer would be to move the flammable liquids somewhere else.
A Written Record
Once you have carried out your fire risk assessment, you must also keep a written record of it if you employ more than five people. It must also he reviewed regularly. There is no definition of the word “regularly” but most people take it to mean annually. You must also review your fire risk assessment if anything changes. This could be something such as using flammable materials in the course of your business that you have not used before, or it could be taking on an extra employee, or even just moving all the office furniture around, which might block what was previously an emergency exit.
The big problem with this legislation for most people in that position is that they simply do not have the knowledge or training to be able to undertake a fire assessment and be comfortable with the results. Certainly, some things may be obvious and stand out a mile, but there could be many other things which are a fire risk but that they simply don’t notice.
This is why so many employers today choose to use a fire risk assessor from a specialist company such as ourselves at UK-FireRisk Assessments, because every member of our team is highly trained and knows what to look out for. As a company, we are also an Affiliate Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.
Our fire safety assessors are fully qualified and experienced, and they are also insured. We can carry out your legally required fire assessment for you wherever you are based in the UK. Our rates are based on the size of your premises, and they start at just £195.00. This includes a written report which most businesses are required to keep and which your local fire service can ask to see.
If you have multiple sites in your business, we are also happy to negotiate a discounted rate to cover all of your locations.