The Biggest Single Reform in UK Fire Safety Legislation in 30 Years is Just Around the Corner

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Did you know that, in April, the laws covering Fire Safety in your business are practically all due to change? If you are an employer with a workplace under your control or the person responsible for premises in an organisation, whether profit making or not, you need to be aware of the changes as they will affect you.

From April, YOU MUST:

  •     Take such general fire precautions as will ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of “your” employees or those working in premises over which you have control; and
  •     You must carry out an assessment of the risks of fire to these people that is “suitable and sufficient” to ensure that the premises are safe.

Only if you employ less than five people does this NOT apply to you.

So, from April, you – as employer or person responsible for premises where five or more people work - even in the voluntary sector – will need to show that you have carried out an appropriate assessment of the fire risks for your premises and taken whatever steps are necessary to reduce or remove the risk.

You will also need to keep this risk assessment under regular review. The HSE and Fire Services will be carrying out on the spot inspections. YOUR COMPANY OR ORGANISATION MAY NOT BE INSURED IF YOU HAVE NOT CARRIED OUT THE ASSESSMENT.

A series of guidance documents will be available early this year, providing detailed information on how to carry out these risk assessments and related matters.

In the meantime, perhaps we at the Emergency Evacuation Company can help. As part of the Health & Safety Group, we have been carrying out assessments of this kind for a number of years; we also have detailed knowledge of the new legislation and its requirements.

We can perform the fire safety risk assessment for you. This will provide a full evaluation of the fire safety hazards of your premises together with a clear and concise report on how to minimize the fire risks. It will also include a review of the provision and positioning of your fire extinguishers, signage and evacuation equipment. We can also, as a follow up, provide fire safety training – from fire awareness through to fire management.

The Emergency Evacuation Company can be contacted by phoning 0871 200 3438 or by logging on to our website – http://www.emergency-evacuation.co.uk – which also contains a wealth of information and advice.

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