Fire is a threat to every business. Around 70% of businesses fail within 3 years of a major fire. Under The Fire Safety Order 2005 and The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a responsibility to make sure they do all that is reasonably practicable to protect employees from fire risks and provide training.
For most businesses, all that’s required is to conduct a series of straightforward, simple tasks.
Due to the variables that inevitably exist in each workplace, our list may not be definitive but it does cover the essentials of preventing fires within your workplace.
Download the checklist and fill in the grid to see if you’re well equipped and are meeting your legal obligations as an employer.
Our checklist covers, but is not limited to the following:
- Having the correct fire protection systems in place
- Carrying out regular fire risk assessments
- Emergency plans and evacuation processes
- Information on mandatory training
Disclaimer - this checklist is not a definitive list and Health & Safety responsibilities/duties vary depending on the type and size of businesses. This checklist is to be used as rough guidance only. iHASCO assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of this document.
For Employers/Responsible Person
We understand that the responsibility of keeping each and every one of your employees can be daunting but remember, we are always on hand to help with any queries on concerns and we are just a phone call or an email away!
Here are some other bits of information and things that you can do to make your life just that little bit easier:
1. Have the correct fire protection systems in place and have them regularly checked
It can be difficult to know if you have the correct fire protection systems in place for your business, but you can follow these points below as rough guidance:
- All businesses legally require fire extinguishers. You should refer to your Fire Risk Assessment to understand what type of extinguishers and how many you need. You can find out more about your legal obligations on the IFSEC & HSE.
- Fire Sprinklers are only a legal requirement for buildings constructed since 2007 and which are taller than 30m.
- Fire Doors are a critical safety feature of any building in which people work or visit, as they offer resistance to the spread of fire and smoke, limiting its effect whilst allowing enough time for occupants to evacuate to a place of safety.
- Visual fire extinguisher checks should be carried out at least once per month, maintenance inspections once per year and fire alarm services/tests every 6 months.
Please bear in mind that no two organisations are the same and needs will vary. Please always refer to the HSE website for your legal responsibilities. If you’re still unsure on something you can contact them directly for more information.
2. Carry out regular Fire Risk Assessments
As a responsible person, you must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises. This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire and keep people safe.
You must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business has 5 or more people.
Carrying out the assessment:
1. Identify the hazards
2. Identify who is at risk
3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks
4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training 5. Review and update the risk assessment regularly
Find out more on the Gov.uk website.
3. Tell staff about potential fire hazards
As a responsible person, you must also tell your staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified.
4. Have an evacuation/emergency plan in place
Part 4 of your fire risk assessment means that you have to create an emergency plan should the worst happen.
The plan must show you have:
- A clear passageway to all escape routes
- Clearly marked escape routes that are short and direct as possible • Enough exits and routes for all people to escape
- Emergency doors that open easily
- Emergency lighting where needed
- Training for all employees to know and use the escape routes
- A safe meeting point for staff
5. Mandatory Fire Awareness Training
All staff legally require Fire Awareness Training. Our IOSH approved training course is used by thousands of organisations year on year to help them work towards compliance with legislation. You can try it for free or request a quote at any time!
6. Have the right insurance
Make sure that you have suitable insurance that will cover you in the event of a fire.
7. Do you have the right number of Fire Wardens and are they trained?
Every business legally requires Fire Wardens and they must receive practical training every 3 years. It’s also strongly recommended that they receive refresher training every year. Our IOSH approved Fire Warden Training course acts as the perfect refresher training course for fire wardens. You can try it for free or request a quote at any time!
Figuring out how many wardens you need isn’t always easy and it depends on the size and layout of your organisation. You should refer to your risk assessment and you can find out more here.
NEED HELP? We recommend you bookmark the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk). We post any significant news on our site, so it’s worth reading our blog. We also send out industry-specific monthly newsletters, which you can subscribe to here. Our clients can rest assured in the knowledge that should best practice or legislation change, we’ll be in touch.