Fire is a risk in any building, particularly in businesses or commercial properties where you have large numbers of building. According to government statistics, in 2011-12 there were 24,100 fires recorded in non-residential premises and, while this was a 4% reduction from the previous year, it’s still a major concern to building owners.
As an employer, there are numerous legal obligations which you have to abide by, and fire safety standards are just but one of these. But how far do these obligations go and what exactly, as an employer, do you have to do to not only ensure legal compliance but to ensure the safety of those in your care?
1. Risk Assessments & Safety Advice
Under English and Welsh law, an employer, owner, landlord or business occupier is the person legally responsible for ensuring implementation of effective fire safety. This ‘responsible person’ must carry out regular risk assessments, and review these on a regular basis to ensure that they’re relevant.
It’s also a legal obligation to keep a written record of any risk assessments if your organisation employs more than five people.
2. Fire Safety & Effective Evacuation Plans
As with a risk assessment, you must have a written fire safety evacuation plan which includes a clear escape routes which are direct and short as possible, enough emergency exits, sufficient emergency lighting and a central meeting point for staff a safe distance away from the building.
All emergency exits and fire doors must not be obstructed, and they should all be maintained to ensure they open easily and quickly in the event of an emergency.
3. Fire Drills; Equipment Usage & Training
As a standard, all buildings must legally have a fire detection system – whether these are simply audible fire alarms, those with sprinkler systems, or a detection system which relays the alarm to your local fire brigade.
Any kind of equipment used for evacuation, such as our range of evacuation chairs and other equipment, must be properly maintained, installed and regularly tested. All staff must be trained to use the equipment, too, so that it can be safely and effectively used in the event of an emergency.
Here at K5, we’re able to help you as business owners, employers and building owners to meet your legal obligations and improve your site’s evacuation process. Our range of evacuation chairs and stair climbers allow you to improve the effectiveness of your evacuation procedures, and make a massive difference to your fire risk assessments.
We stock a truly comprehensive range of products, designed to suit buildings of any size and to meet the needs of any employees, visitors or residents. For more information, browse our various products online or, to speak to a member of our team direct, call us today on 01234 354539.