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Fire Safety – In the workplace, who is responsible?

It’s a disturbing fact that the business industry suffers devastating fires every year. Damage and destruction by fire can take place in minutes and carries with it the added risk of personal injury.

Is your workplace protected? Do you and your employees know who to ask, where to go and what to do to ensure peace of mind?

In England and Wales, if you’re an employer, owner, landlord or occupier of business or other non-domestic premises, you’re responsible for fire safety and are known as the ‘responsible person’.

As the responsible person you must:

  • carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
  • tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
  • put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
  • plan for an emergency
  • provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training

Non-domestic premises are:

  • all workplaces and commercial premises
  • all premises the public have access to
  • the common areas of multi-occupied residential buildings

What you need to know   As an employer, owner or landlord, there’s lots you need to know, such as what equipment to have, the type of system best suited to your employees and your premises and you’ll need to have any equipment properly installed, tested and maintained and train your staff to use them if necessary. You must also carry out regular checks to make sure that:

  • all fire alarm systems are working
  • the emergency lighting is working
  • you record any faults in systems and equipment
  • all escape routes are clear and the floor is in good condition
  • all fire escapes can be opened easily
  • automatic fire doors close correctly
  • fire exit signs are in the right place

Bearing all of the above in mind, there’s a lot to take on board, so by way of helping you understand the laws the Security Services Group are going to run a series of seminars over the next 12 months on Fire Safety in the Workplace; so watch this space for further information!