What are my fire safety responsibilities?

 

In wake of the tragedy that occurred at Grenfell Tower in London it is no surprise that fire safety has entered the limelight of the media, and has caused many people to be concerned about fire safety in their own organisations.

By highlighting some of the key questions in regards to fire safety responsibilities we hope to reassure you that with sufficient information, time and knowledge, fire safety is manageable.

1. Who is responsible for fire safety in my organisation?

Generally it is the employer or owner of the premises who is responsible for fire safety; this person is known as the ‘responsible person’.

Employees also have responsibilities for preventing fires, and knowing what to do in the event of a fire.

In addition, most organisations should have dedicated ‘fire wardens’, who are responsible for checking that everyone is evacuated safely in an emergency.

 2. What if our premises are shared?

It is likely there will be more than one responsible person in shared premises; the responsible persons will need to work together to coordinate their plans and ensure everyone knows who is responsible for what, and where.

3. What are the responsibilities of the ‘responsible person’?

One of the main responsibilities of the responsible person is to carry out and review a fire risk assessment of the premises. You can either:

  • Undertake the assessment yourself by using a fire risk assessment template or,
  • Appoint someone to undertake it for you if you do not have the expertise; Safetyboss can undertake this on your behalf.

      Other responsibilities of the responsible person include:

      • Putting in place, and maintaining, appropriate fire safety measures,
      • Ensuring good house-keeping to minimise the risk of a fire occurring,
      • Keeping fire exits and escape routes clearly marked and unobstructed,
      • Ensuring workers receive appropriate information and training.

        4. What is a fire risk assessment?

        A fire risk assessment identifies what might cause a fire in the workplace, who might suffer harm in the event of a fire and what is needed to control the risk.

        Fire risk assessments should follow these five steps:

        1. Identify the fire hazards,
        2. Identify people 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 fire risk assessment regularly.

        5. How often do I need to renew my fire risk assessment?

        There is no legal time frame for when your fire risk assessment needs to be reviewed; the frequency is based on the nature of the premises and what it is used for.

        If a competent fire risk assessor (such as Safetyboss) undertakes your fire risk assessment and suggests a review period, you should take this into account.

         

        There are other areas of fire safety you need to consider such as fire detection systems, drills and evacuation plans, however this is a good starting point to help you manage your fire safety responsibilities.

        If you feel out of your depth to undertake your own fire risk assessment, Safetyboss can help you meet your legal duty by undertaking one on your behalf; click here for more information.

        If you have any questions regarding your fire safety responsibilities contact us today; we would be happy to assist you.


        WANT TO SEE OUR FULL RANGE OF SERVICES?  Download our Brochure >