As a business owner or occupier of a business, it is your responsibility to ensure your place of work is fire safe. Additionally the Fire Safety Order applies if you have paying guests, for example if you run a guest-house, bed and breakfast, or let a self-catering property.
Tips on Preventing a Fire
- Keep work area free of waste, so for example if you work in a hotel, ensure the reception area is free of paper, trash and other items which can easily cause a fire.
- Do not overload your circuits.
- Check your electrical cords, if any are damaged, get these replace ASAP.
- Identify who is at risk, and how this risk can be prevented.
According to gov.uk as a responsible person you must:
- Carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly.
- Inform staff or their representatives about the risks you have identified.
- Put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures.
- Plan for an emergency.
- Provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training.
Carrying out and regularly reviewing a fire risk assessment of your premises is essential. If your company holds more than 5 people, you need to ensure that you keep a written record of your fire risk assessment.
As per government legislation you need to consider:
- Emergency routes and exits including fire exit signage.
- Fire detection and warning systems.
- Fire fighting equipment.
- The removal or safe storage of dangerous substances.
- An emergency fire evacuation plan.
- The requirements of vulnerable people, for example the elderly, young children or those with disabilities.
- Providing information to employees and other people on the premises.
- Staff fire safety training.
If you adhere by these rules you will be obeying the law and saving money in the long run. Failure to follow fire safety procedures can result in an enforcement notice or a penalty of up to £5000, or worst still unlimited fines, and up to two years in prison.