How To Improve Fire Safety Compliance Before The Fire Risk Assessor Visits:
It is a legal requirement to have a good quality, suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 specifies that you need to assess your premises for the risk of fire. It is important to consider what could cause a fire to break out. It is equally important to fully understand the potential consequences that it would have on life should a fire occur. A fire risk assessment allows you to systematically assess your premises and identify ways to improve fire safety. You risk prosecution if you do not have a fire risk assessment in place.
Many organisations choose to have a professional company, such as JCH Safety, to carry out the fire risk assessment for them. JCH Safety carry out fire risk assessments for a range of buildings and we work with our clients to help manage the risk of fire. In the last six months alone, we have carried out church fire risk assessments for a number of beautiful churches in Coventry and Warwickshire. We have helped churches with fire awareness training and also fire marshal training. We have also helped churches to develop fire evacuation plans and fire evacuation strategies. In addition to church fire risk assessments we carry out school fire risk assessments, college fire risk assessments, community-centre fire risk assessments, warehouse fire risk assessments and retail fire risk assessments.
Our clients often ask for advice as to how to improve fire safety compliance, prior to the fire risk assessment being carried out. Here are five ways to improve fire safety compliance ahead of your fire risk assessor’s visit:
- During a fire risk assessment your assessor will need to see evidence that you inspect your fire extinguishers and that you test emergency lighting, your fire alarm and fire doors. You should have records of monthly and weekly checks as well as annual services for your emergency lights and detection system. Check that your records are up to date, well organised and available for the assessor. Ideally, you should inspect fire doors frequently and record any faults that are identified with information of the remedial actions that have been taken. Ideally, these will be carried out monthly but no less than 6 monthly if the traffic is light.
- Make sure you have conducted and kept records of a full fire evacuation drill. The assessor will be looking to see that a drill has been carried out within the last twelve months. You should be able to evacuate your entire property and be certain that the premises are empty within 3-4 minutes. Procedures must be in place for liaising with the fire services, ensuring adequate first aid provision is available and suitable evacuation procedures are in place for disabled people. Some clients have difficulty evacuating their premises. If you are struggling with this please get in touch, we can help with this!
- Fire training is required by law. All of your staff and volunteers should receive basic fire awareness training. Your fire risk assessor will look to see evidence of training and that it is from a suitable provider. Many companies now choose online fire awareness training. Fire awareness training should be carried out annually. Your fire risk assessor will also look to ensure that you have fire marshals appointed and that these have received suitable fire marshal training. Again, many companies opt for the use of online fire marshal training. JCH Safety offer both online fire marshal training and classroom style fire marshal training. Remember to have your certificates/evidence of training available for the fire risk assessor.
- Ensure that your electrical and gas systems are inspected and suitably maintained. Your gas services should be inspected at least annually by a competent engineer. Your electrics require an annual inspection, with a five yearly fixed wiring inspection. Don’t forget to action the remedial items. Evidence that these have been attended to should be provided along with your inspection reports.
- Make sure that your premises are in good order and that your means of escape are unobstructed. Your fire risk assessor will need to see that fire exits are kept clear and uncluttered, that final exit doors all open and work, that internal fire doors are kept closed and that there is ample unhindered egress from the building.
These five suggestions will help your organisation to improve its level of fire safety compliance. It is always a good idea to review your premises ahead of a fire risk assessment and by following these simple steps you should bring your level of compliance to a suitable level.
Our assessors are highly qualified, advanced fire risk assessors. If you would like assistance with carrying our your fire risk assessment in Coventry, Warwickshire, Birmingham or the West Midlands, we would only be too pleased to help. Please get in touch to find out more.