From 1st October 2006 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the Responsible Person (RP) of any non domestic premises to carry out a fire risk assessment, including the necessary measures to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire, and include identifying persons at risk. Where there are 5 or more employees, a record must be kept of significant findings i.e. a fire risk assessment.
If you are:-
- responsible for business premises
- an employer
- self-employed with business premises
- a school or academy
- a charity or voluntary organisation
- a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
Then the new law does affect you and you are directly and solely responsible for fire safety and must ensure that you comply with these regulations.
This fire safety legislation applies to all non domestic premises and places a duty of care on either or any combination of the Employer, the Occupier or the Owner as the Responsible Person to appoint a Competent Person whose duty it is to carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises, the risk of fire from the operations that are carried out in the premises and the people who work in the premises.
Although best practice states that it would be better if the Competent Person is an employee, this legislation recognises the fact many small and medium sized businesses do not have the resources to have an employee committed full time to this work and therefore allows for the appointment of third party assistance to complete the Fire Risk Assessment. One option is to get a health and safety consultant to do your fire risk assessment for you. This is probably suitable if you do not have a health and safety officer, a fire safety manager or a responsible member of staff who is competent to carry out a fire risk assessment or if your site is considered high risk.
Universal Safety Solutions has a broad portfolio of health, safety and environment expertise including fire safety and has successfully carried out many fire risk assessments.
Using a Universal Safety Solutions consultant can be a very cost effective solution for carrying out your fire risk assessments and can deliver real benefits to your business. By taking a few simple steps to reduce fire risks, employers can prevent fires breaking out and when you consider that 70% of businesses suffering a fire never reopen, or close within 3 years of the fire, then taking the time to do a fire risk assessment looks like a very sensible investment as well as being a legal requirement.
Would your business stand up to an inspection from the enforcing authorities who would need to see evidence of a fire risk assessment and accompanying documentation if you employ five or more people? If the answer is NO, then it is time to act.
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