The law relating to fire safety is being strengthened and new responsibilities are being placed upon employers. The key date for these new provisions was the October 1, 2006.
What you will be required to do after that date is:
Appoint a competent person – this does not have to be a consultant it can be an employee of the company
Complete a fire risk assessment
Provide employees with clean and relevant information on the risks, measures taken to prevent fires and the protection the measures will provide
Consult with employees concerning improvement of fire precautions
Co-operate with neighbouring businesses who may be affected by your fire risk
Treat agency workers as employees for the purpose of fire safety
Consider the use/storage of dangerous substances and notification of the emergency services in an emergency
Provide all staff with appropriate information, instructions and training about fire precautions.
There are five basic steps to carrying out a fire risk assessment.
Step 1 - identification of the potential hazards
Look for the
sources of ignition
Hot work process e.g. welding
Process causing sparks e.g. grinding
Smoking materials – matches
Sources of fuel
Petrol or other fuels
Waste oil and other products
Combustible solids – furnishings and fittings, paper/files.
Sources of oxygen
Potential spread of fire
Ducts / vents – doors
Fire risk assessment checklist
So – you have completed your fire risk assessment
If not then go to our fire risk assessment guide below.
If you have then here is a checklist to ensure yours has all the necessary ingredients to meet the legislation and keep the local fire authority happy.
Have you made someone responsible for the fire risk assessment
Have you put in procedures for an emergency – in particular organisational structure, communication, alarm systems, do staff know what to do, forward planning, who will ring the emergency services, is the assembly point clear, are staff aware of the procedures
Have you reduced the likelihood of a fire or in the event of it starting it its progress retarded
Is there a clear and unobstructed route of escape
Is suitable fire fighting equipment available and maintained
Have staff been instructed and trained
HAVE YOU TESTED YOUR PROCEDURES!