fire safety

Fire is a very real risk for businesses, with the most common cause being misuse of equipment, closely followed by faulty appliances. That means the majority of fires could have been prevented with effective fire safety training.

Of the fires broken down in the primary fire category, misuse of equipment or appliances’ accounted for 8,636 incidents last year. Then faulty appliances at 3,863, then articles too close to heat at 3,301. These far surpass the 2,892 deliberate fires. Of the 64,066 fire incidents, there were 210 fatalities.

Each business must have fire safety procedures in place, as well as fire management systems and escape points. The duty of regulating and updating the fire management systems lies with the Responsible Person. Every business, charity, voluntary organisation and contractor requires a Responsible Person, named and documented.

what are the duties of the responsible person?

  • To carry out (or arrange for) a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • Put in place appropriate fire safety measures and ensure they are maintained and tested
  • Inform employees and other relevant people about the risks you’ve identified
  • Put an emergency plan in place for safe evacuation
  • Provide information, fire safety instruction and training to employees and other relevant people

why do businesses need a fire risk assessment?

  • The purpose of a fire risk assessment is to:

    • Identify the fire hazards and potential for a fire starting
    • Identify the people who are at risk
    • Evaluate, remove or reduce the probability of a fire starting
    • limit the effects should a fire occur
    • Identify the fire prevention measures which are in place
    • Identify the controls in place to prevent a fire from spreading
    • Identify the controls in place for identifying a fire and alerting occupants
    • Ensure that occupants can evacuate safely

    Article 9 (1) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that: “The responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the general fire precautions he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him by or under this Order.”

    The Fire Safety Order requires that you give effect to arrangements for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventative measures.

    The Fire Risk Assessment should be reviewed at least annually by the responsible person to ensure that it remains up to date, or earlier if there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid such as, but not limited to the following:

    • Any fire incident or near miss fire incident
    • Significant changes to work practices or procedures
    • Significant structural or material changes to the premises, or internal layout
    • Significant changes to the processes or activities conducted at the premises
    • Significant change in the number of people present or the characteristics of the occupants including the presence of people with some form of disability
    • Significant change to quantities of stock and type of stock held that could contribute to fire
    • The introduction of increase in the storage of hazardous substances and flammable substances
    • Any change in the fire precautions in the premises

the importance of a fire risk safety assessment and fire safety training

  • Each year, around 22,000 fires occur in workplaces around the UK. Common causes include:

    • Faulty Equipment – Electrical fires account for 33% of workplace fires.
    • Storage and Clutter – Build-up of dirt, dust and debris can cause equipment to overheat. Fire can spread very quickly through dirt and debris.
    • Human Error – Misuse of equipment and complacency in everyday tasks can easily lead to accidents occurring.
    • Arson – in West Yorkshire alone arson accounts for 8.9% of all crimes committed.

    At Sentient, our fire risk assessors are NEBOSH Qualified and hold a Fire Risk Assessment Qualification from the Fire Protection Association.  We can carry out fire risk assessments in a wide range of premises; including manufacturing premises, shops, warehouses, industrial units, workshops, food manufacturers, church halls,  and shops.

    See our variety of training course available. We can instruct on fire safety online, on-site or via a webinar. Contact us today to get your fire safety management systems sorted.