Fire Safety – 1/3 of businesses failing
In a recent release of government statistics, it is reported that more than a third of non-residential premises audited last year by the Fire & Rescue Authorities were not fully compliant with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The most common areas of concern included the following:
1) The lack of a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment
2) Issues with emergency routes and exits
3) Maintenance of the fire precautions in the building
This is interesting because none of the above are typically expensive to address. Fire Risk Assessments in commercial premises have been a requirement in the UK since 1999, and one would expect that most people would have a basic appreciation of the importance of exit routes and the maintenance of the fire protection equipment. The findings would suggest a total lack of fire safety awareness more than anything else (or a wilful neglect), and there is clearly more work to do on educating the ‘responsible persons’ in their responsibilities.
The Fire & Rescue Service is responsible for enforcing the Fire Safety Order, as much as the HSE are responsible to enforce Health & Safety legislation. As such, they are entitled to inspect your premises and they have powers to prosecute if they feel it’s necessary.
We are confident that most of our customers would stand up well to an inspection by the Fire & Rescue Service, but the statistics serve as a timely reminder to ensure that your Fire Risk Assessment is up to date, and your exit routes are being maintained. If you have any concerns contact us today.