When you operate any sort of business you have certain legal obligations. One of these is to carry out an office fire safety assessment, and if you have five or more employees you are required to keep a written record of your assessment and any findings and action taken. The legislation concerned is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Your local fire authority has the power to inspect your offices and can demand to see your report.
Depending on the size and use of your offices, you must appoint one or more competent persons to carry out any preventive or protective measures that the Order requires. That person can be yourself. A competent person is someone with enough training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to be able to implement these measures properly. That can immediately present a problem, because most businessmen have not had any training or experience in these matters.
You also have to inform your employees about fire risks and measures you have taken to prevent fires, and you have to consult with them about nominating any individual to carry out a particular role in connection with fire safety. You also have to inform any non-employees such as contract or temporary workers about fire risks and your fire safety procedures. If you employ a child, you must also inform a parent of the same.
If you have someone from an outside organisation working in your premises, such as an agency worker, you have to inform their employer about fire risks to them, and the measures you have taken to prevent fires. You also have to provide your employees with instructions and training regarding fire safety procedures during their normal working hours.
In addition, you have to ensure that all your firefighting, fire detection, and warning equipment is in good order and is maintained by a competent person. Your employees must co-operate with you and must not do anything that may place themselves or others at risk.
You must also liaise and co-ordinate with any other employers who have businesses in the same building and inform them of any significant risks you have found and what steps you are taking to control those risks which could affect the safety of their employees.
As you can see, there is a considerable amount that you are required to do. Some aspects of fire safety may be simply a matter of common sense, but unless you have had training there will be aspects that may not be apparent at all.
This is why many businesses prefer to use our services at UK-FireRisk Assessments because all of our assessors have undergone fire risk assessment training at the Fire Service College at Moreton in Marsh. Our aim is to ensure that your offices are compliant with the Order and to provide you with a full and clear report.