A fire risk assessment is required by law for all businesses and flats that are in any area. However, not everyone understands the importance of this measure. They usually are overlooked, and that should not be the case since buildings may be exposed to a fire risk which sometimes may lead to a loss of life. So, what are the fire safety laws and fire risk assessments? We will find out below.
Know Your Fire Safety Law
Where Does It Apply?
This law applies to all premises and will cover any building type and structure. They will cover;
- Hotels and hostels.
- Factories and warehouses.
- Offices and shops.
- Community halls and churches.
- Clubs, pubs and restaurants.
Where Doesn’t It Apply?
It does not apply to people’s private homes such as the individual flats in a block.
Who Is Responsible?
The person that is responsible for the fire safety is anyone who has;
- Control of the premises such as the owner of the building.
- Control over the activities that occur in the premises such as the occupier.
- The ability to employ people.
These people are responsible for the safety of the people who are legally in those premises and those who may not be there but are affected directly by the fire that may occur there. This responsibility may be shared by various people but not the fire service crew. They should ensure that everyone is safe from the fire. The best way to do this is to conduct a fire risk assessment that will determine what the risks involved are and the measures that will need to be taken to minimize these risks to a level that is acceptable.
An Approach To Fire Risk Assessment
1. You will need to identify the hazards that are within your premises such as the ignition source, fuel source and also any oxidizing agents that may be there other than air.
2. The people at risk should also be identified. Anyone who may be at risk from a fire in your premises should be considered, whether they are employees, members of the public or visitors. Parents with babies, children, the elderly and also people with disabilities should be given more attention. Also, people working near any fire hazards and anyone in need of special help should be given the utmost care.
3. Evaluate the level of risk in your premises. Any fire hazards that are there should be removed or reduced if possible. You will need to check on:
- The Training of your staff.
- Information on fire safety for staff and also visitors.
- Means of detecting fire and giving a warning.
- Fire Fighting including first aid firefighting, fire summoning and also the rescue service.
- Escape routes such as the fire exits, escape route signs and also emergency lighting.
4. Record the findings that you get from the fire risk assessment and the fire safety measures that you want to take. Also, give the employees training on the risks and actions to be taken to prevent these fires.
5. Review your fire assessment and ensure that it is up to date. If you suspect that it is no longer valid, re-examine it.
Fire authorities are the primary agency that enforces the fire safety law. They will check into the complaints and carry out investigations and inspections that will be required. If there is a risk to life, they will issue a notice to prevent the premises from being used. Using the above points, you will be able to know your role as the owner of a building or its occupant as regards to this law and the assessment.