Firms Urged to Review Fire Safety

Firms Urged to Review Fire Safety

In our latest blog, Mike Pearson is urging wirral firms to review fire safety arrangements. 

A fire safety firm on the Wirral is urging North West employers to understand their legal duties in relation to fire safety. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is the existing legislation that covers fire safety in non-domestic premises.

Mike Pearson, a director at Wirral Fire Protection outlines his concerns:

“The responsible person, normally the business owner, must ensure that there are sufficient fire safety measures in place within the workplace so that employees and all other relevant persons are not exposed to any unnecessary risk. This usually means appropriate fire extinguishers as an absolute minimum but will often include fire detection, emergency lighting as well a minimum package of fire training to ensure that there are competent persons in place to deal with a fire situation in a timely and confident manner.”

Business owners can be fined or receive a prison sentence if they fail to discharge their legal duties particularly if someone is trapped or hurt because of a major, or even a small fire incident. A minor breach of the FSO can incur a fine of up to £5,000 whilst major deficiencies can result in up to 2 year in prison and an unlimited fine.

Mike explains, ‘the fundamental requirements’ are to ensure that:

  1. A suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment has been carried out by a competent person.
  2. A suitable package of passive and active fire safety measures are installed.
  3. Appropriate servicing/maintenance regimes are in place for the fire safety measures installed.
  4. A sufficient number of employees are trained to fire warden/marshal status as a minimum.

In non-fire conditions fire wardens are usually responsible for removing/reporting fire risks/hazards and for checking and recording that all fire protection/defense provisions are satisfactorily maintained and readily available. Well trained fire wardens will ensure escape routes and fire exits are clear of obstructions at all times and if all of these boxes are ticked there is significantly less potential for any fire incident to become a major incident.

In emergency fire conditions fire wardens are usually responsible for ensuring the building is fully and safely evacuated or for dealing with small, low risk fire incidents. Also to comply with the FSO at least one, preferably two fire drills must be carried out each year and trained fire wardens play an important role coordinating safe and timely test evacuation.

Mike regularly delivers fire safety training. He explains the benefits:

“Our highly regarded fire training courses provide delegates with the skills, knowledge and confidence required not just in fire situations but also to perform the proactive and preventative side of the Fire Wardens role. We all know prevention is better than cure”

Mike has many years experience in delivering bespoke on-site fire safety courses for shops, offices, restaurants, schools, care homes etc, as well as monthly off-site Fire Warden Courses in our Birkenhead training centre.  The next scheduled training course takes place on Wednesday 31stOctober.  More details can be found here.

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