Employers are responsible for fire safety in the workplace, which includes carrying out and regularly reviewing a fire risk assessment, informing staff of risks, putting in place and maintaining fire safety measures, planning for an emergency and staff training. Most fires can be prevented by adopting the right behaviours and procedures.
The importance of implementing fire safety procedures
As a good employer you’ll want to follow fire regulations, because ensuring the safety of people and protecting your assets is important to you. If you don’t follow these legal requirements, you could receive a fine or even a custodial sentence. Minor penalties can be up to £5,000 and major penalties can have unlimited fines and up to two years in prison. Failure to follow these regulations will mean that your property is not covered by insurance.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
All employers are required to carry out a fire risk assessment and based on their findings, put the necessary protective safety measures in place. This means having safety measures and equipment in place including a fire alarm. All equipment also has to be regularly maintained and tested.
Fire evacuation plans
Employers need to have a fire evacuation plan, which includes:
- A clear passageway to escape routes
- Short and direct routes, which are clearly marked
- Enough routes and exits for all people to escape
- Easy to open emergency doors
- Emergency lighting where needed
- Staff training
- A safe meeting point for employees.
People with mobility needs
Regulations also state that employers need to make special arrangements for people with mobility needs. For example if one of your staff members is a wheelchair user, ensure there are people to help him or her escape in the case of a fire.
Fire safety advice and support
The fire safety in the workplace section of the gov.uk website has further information on fire safety and procedures in the workplace, including guides on risk assessments and the appointment of a professional risk assessor. Specialist companies, such as BWS Security Systems, can help your business meet legal fire safety requirements and protect your staff, customers, and premises. Ensure you appoint an accredited supplier, which uses British Standard and certificated fire protection and emergency lighting systems.
For more information on BWS and its fire protection systems for Bath businesses and the surrounding areas please go to speak to a trained advisor on 01225 800 602.