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Fire risk assessment – Are you breaking the law?

March 05th, 2019

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If you are reading this, then you must have some level of responsibility for the safety of your employees and your business in the event of a fire breaking out and awareness that this is your legal responsibility.

Summary of your responsibilities

In 2006 the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order (2005) came into force, requiring all businesses with five employees or more, to carry out a full fire risk assessment.

Despite this being a requirement of law, it is estimated that as many as a third of businesses are still not aware of their obligation and as a result could face prosecution.

This could lead to fines, closure of the premises, forced stoppage of business and even in severe cases imprisonment. So far, the largest recorded fine for non-compliance is a massive £240,000.

With this is mind – when was the last time you conducted a fire risk assessment and how confident are you that new issues affect fire safety would not be flagged?

What is a fire risk assessment?

Every business owner, premises owner, landlord, director or manager must have a ‘responsible person’ – someone who is in charge of fire safety. It is this person that needs to ensure that a fire risk assessment is carried out.

The assessment itself is a detailed look at your premises with the intention of creating a detailed, personalised plan that sets out recommendations for systems and processes to be put into place within your business.

It is broken down into a number of key areas such as; fire safety administration; fire fighting facilities; identifying fire hazards; fire routine and test procedure; means of escape; review procedures; staff/people at risk; arson prevention check list, and fire warning facilities.

Who should carry out the assessment?

It is possible for your ‘responsible person’ to carry out the fire risk assessment, but they have to prove competence in fire safety and the risk assessment should be “suitable and sufficient”.

A safer, more reliable and hassle free way forward, is to utilise the services of a professional BAFE approved fire safety company with the right level of experience and knowledge in fire safety and the law to carry out the assessment and then provide you with a full report.

The cost for making sure your business is compliant, and that your staff are protected in the event of fire, is a lot less than you might imagine – it could be as little as £150 + VAT.

So, if you haven’t had a fire risk assessment carried out, don’t delay anymore.

Enforcement officers have the right to enter your building at anytime, without warning, and ask to see your relevant documents. If you don’t have them, the punishment can be severe.

Contact us now to request a free, no obligation fire risk assessment quotation.


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