Running a business in the UK today is nowhere near as easy as it was 40 or 50 years ago. OK, running a business is never “easy” because there are all sorts of things that can go wrong, some of which are beyond your control as the owner. Take the 2008 recession for example or Covid-19. There is no way that you can allow for things like that, see them coming, or even if you do see them coming it may be impossible to counter them. There is no way to plan ahead for them.
Running a business as a start-up maybe your own take on that of someone else. It may be that you worked for a company and thought “I can do this better”. Or even just “I can do this and set up in competition. Look how much money my boss is making. I’d like a chunk of that too, and I can’t get it while working for him”. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. However, a few years down the line one of your own employees may think the same thing! So the result is more competition. That is also healthy because as Del Boy says in Only Fools And Horses “He who dares – wins”.
But we are not talking about competition or the many other difficulties you can face when running a business which can arise from day to day. What we are talking about here is the law. There are just so many rules that you have to follow when you open a business – and even more when you become an “employer” – i.e. your business expands and so you give someone else a job – that we didn’t have in the 1970s and ’80s.
For instance, what about a fire safety assessment?
Glad you asked. A fire safety assessment. You know, checking over your office/shop/factory or whatever in order to ensure that your employees are safe if a fire breaks out.
Well, it makes sense, doesn’t it? If a fire breaks out, you want all your employees to be able to get out of the building safely. Better still, you don’t want a fire to break out in the first place. Obviously not.
So, you didn’t know that, as an employer, you have a legal duty to undertake a fire risk assessment of your premises, and then take any steps necessary to reduce or eliminate that risk, and – if you have more than five employees – keep a written record of your findings and the actions that you took?
It’s a legal requirement, and if you don’t do it you can be fined, and in the worst case go to jail for a couple of years!
As a former employer of 30 people himself, this writer knows only too well that we didn’t have all these laws back in the day. But today we do.
OK. They make a considerable amount of sense. But the issue then is: what do you know about undertaking a fire risk assessment? If you are like the average accountant/greengrocer/pub landlord/electrician/dancing teacher/web designer/enter your own trade here, probably not an awful lot. Why should you? Yet the law says that you have to do that.
Fortunately for you, there is a get-out clause. You can appoint someone else to do it for you. Someone who knows what is likely to catch fire, what is likely to cause problems if there is a fire, how to store flammable materials, how to ensure escape routes are safe, and a whole lot more, because they have had the training that you haven’t and knows what to look out for.
This is precisely what we do at UK-Fire Risk Assessments. Our team is fully trained in every aspect of fire risk for properties and businesses both large and small. We can undertake your legally required fire risk assessment for you wherever you happen to be in the UK. We will provide you with the written report that you are legally bound to keep if you have more than five employees.
It doesn’t cost a fortune and is based on the size of your premises – starting at just £195 + VAT. In the worst-case scenario, that could keep you out of prison!