Every year people die or are injured as a result of fire emergencies at their workplaces or commercial properties. Businesses in the United Kingdom lose millions of pounds from damage to their properties besides the irreversible loss of life due to these incidents. Most of these fires can be easily avoided by taking the right precautions to minimise the risk of fire at your workplace. That is where the latest fire safety laws in the United Kingdom come in handy. In fact, the fire safety regulations implemented more than a decade ago are the basis for a safe workplace or commercial establishment. This article provides information on managing fire safety risks with a fire risk assessment.
Fire Safety Regulations
Fire safety regulations apply to all the commercial establishments as well as all other buildings that the public has access to. It doesn’t apply to private residential properties in the United Kingdom. These regulations give the business the flexibility and authority to remove, manage, and reduce their fire risks with the findings of a fire risk assessment. The fire risk assessment should be the cornerstone of your fire safety plan. But most businesses overlook the importance of a fire risk assessment. This can expose your building to fire risks with the potential loss of life at times. A fire risk assessment is a sort of review done on a commercial building to assess the chances of a fire in the building. The fire risk assessment will provide recommendations to make the building safer in the event of a fire. The risk assessment doesn’t have to be documented if the particular building has only less than 5 employees. But it is recommended that the fire risk assessment is documented even if your organisation employs less than 5 employees as it is the simplest way of communicating the findings of the assessment and make sure that the recommendations have been carried out properly.
Fire Risk Assessment Guidelines
There are a few legal guidelines around a fire risk assessment. Some of the important points in this guideline include:
- The assessment should be regularly reviewed. It is recommended that the original assessment is reviewed every 12 months
- A brand new assessment should be carried out in every five years time
- If the layout of the building or its fabric has been changed, a new assessment should be carried out
- If the nature of occupants of the building has changed considerably, a new assessment should be carried out
- If the purpose of the building is substantially altered, you should carry out a new assessment
In case your commercial premises have more than five employees, the assessment should be documented. But it is highly recommended that you document the findings even if the building has fewer than 5 employees. On the other hand, the fire risk assessment should include the main findings and the actions that need to be taken to reduce the risk of fire in your premises. The risk assessment should come in two parts such as the review or findings and the recommendations to make the building a fire safe area. It is important that you act on these recommendations since that is what will keep your premises and employees safe in case of a sudden fire in the premises.
The law emphasises that every commercial building should have a designated person to carry out the assessment. He or she is known as the responsible person or RP. In fact, the RP should ensure that the relevant fire safety duties are carried out and necessary action is taken to prevent unwanted fires in the premises. The aforementioned article provides information on managing fire safety risks with a fire risk assessment.