Fire regulation rules are changing in the UK.
Some of the rules and regulations that we have in the UK in the 21st century for employers can sometimes make you wonder if owning a business is all worthwhile!
There is a whole raft of legislation that refers to employers that have absolutely nothing to do with the type of business that you run or where it happens to be based. It can also very easily cover things of which you have either very little knowledge, or quite possibly no knowledge at all.
As an employer you have to ensure that staff are instructed in things like fire drills, have basic fire awareness training and in some cases have fire marshal training.
When working from home on your own, you can do pretty much what you like, but, when to take on your first employees the fire risk regulations change and you are suddenly facing all sorts of legislation that you probably know nothing whatsoever about.
After all, you are running a sandwich shop or whatever, for heaven’s sake. You are not a lawyer.
Unfortunately for you, we are now living well and truly in the 21st century and there is all sorts of legislation with which you must comply, because if you don’t there can be some nasty repercussions. Just one of these is about fire safety in the workplace. As the government cheerfully mentions on the first page of its’ Rules:
Penalties and enforcement
You could be fined or go to prison if you do not follow fire safety regulations.
Local fire and rescue authorities inspect premises and can issue fire safety notices telling you about changes you need to make.
But that is how the world is today, and that is just about fire safety on your premises. There are all sort of other laws that apply to you as an employer (think HMRC just for openers!) that you almost certainly never considered when opening your first sandwich shop, otherwise you might have thought twice.
When it comes to fire safety on your business premises, whether you know it or not, the law requires you to carry out a fire safety assessment, and if you have more than five employees, keep a fire safety log book of any actions that you carry out. All of which is no big deal if you are a trained fire safety assessor but is something else again if you run a sandwich shop.