August 31st marks Business Fire Protection Day. This is a national awareness campaign that aims to serve as a reminder to businesses that fire protection is a key factor to consider within the workplace.
If you are an employer and own a building, or occupy one, it is up to you to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and keep it up-to-date.
Based on the findings of the assessment, employers will then need to ensure adequate and appropriate fire safety measures are in place to minimise the risk of injury, or loss of life, in the event of a fire.
In order to help prevent your business having a fire, your risk assessment should identify what could cause a fire to start, i.e. sources of ignition (heat or sparks) and substances that burn, and the people who may be at risk. If you have a business of five or more employees, it is mandatory to keep a written record of the risk assessment.[i] You can then take appropriate action once the risks have been identified and measures put in place to control them.
Failure to carry out a risk assessment may result in a hefty fine for your company. And don’t forget to regularly test your fire alarm; if found to be faulty, there is a £295 charge issued by the London Fire Brigade for every false alarm after the first nine in any year.
As an employer, if you fail to meet fire safety regulations, your local fire and rescue authority can issue you with a penalty. Minor penalties can be up to £5,000 and major penalties can result in a prison sentence of up to two years!
As an employee, it is also important to educate yourself on fire safety and what to do in the event of a fire. You can do this by undertaking the following:
As a business owner, employee or general member of the public it is vital to remember that fire safety is important and must be taken seriously; not only for the financial repercussions but also the fatalities it can cause.
For additional information or help with implementing fire protection solutions you can contact our experts in FacilitiesSuppliesTeam. You can also download the catalogue. which has a special section on Fire Safety.
[i] Direct Gov