The Importance Of Fire Assessments For Your Business

Regardless of your business, you have a legal requirement to provide a fire-safe working environment for your staff, visitors and customers. You are required to have a written fire risk assessment if you have 5 or more employees. If you do not, you could incur penalties or even imprisonment. A fire assessment will not only mean you are in line with the law, but you will be able to minimise the risk of fire on your property, saving lives and preventing damage.

It is understandable that not all accidents can be avoided, but having a thorough and efficient assessment in place will identify potential risks and areas for improvement. By being aware of these, the possibility of a fire-related incident decreases significantly. Within the written document you must:

Identify any fire-related hazards
Pinpoint who could be harmed;
How they can be harmed
Evaluate the potential risks
Consider controls to prevent the risks
Record hazard findings
Implement methods to remove/reduce hazards
Check control measures are in place, if not implement them
Review the risk assessment every year and after any incident between then

A one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work. Every property and business is different, therefore must be tailored to the specific needs of the property. The type of business will also mean a difference, for example, a residential, educational and healthcare premises will differ from a shop and office. A professional and experienced service provider will be able to outline everything YOU need in order to be safe and compliant.

The main aim of the document is to outline hazards then reduce or remove them, but there are many other factors to also consider to ensure a high level of safety. Those include:

Fire detection
Warning systems
Fire doors
Emergency routes
Emergency exits
Firefighting equipment e.g. extinguishers, blanket, hose etc.
Evacuation Plan
Any vulnerable people on premises– elderly, children, disabled
Fire safety training

Ask yourself, would you be able to demonstrate legal competence in court if your own assessment was deemed to be unsuitable or insufficient? If you answered no or are unsure, we recommend that you contact us and let us do the hard work for you. You can then ensure it is completed correctly, safely and in line with legislative obligations.

If you have any questions about Fire Assessments and why you need to have sufficient and regular assessments, call us on 01353 886 890 or email us at info@ocd-fm.com

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