How to Get a Fire Safety Certificate (You Can't)
14th Mar 2018
Ensuring your business premises are compliant with Fire Safety legislation is essential.
Under past legislation, the Fire Authority would issue a Fire Safety Certificate to demonstrate that the workplace met the required standards of fire safety.
However, the Fire Safety Certificate no longer exists, and since any Fire Safety Certificate issued under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 is no longer valid, how do you ensure compliance with the legislation set out in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005?
Fire Risk Assessment
Instead of being issued with a Fire Safety Certificate, all places of work must now undergo a comprehensive Fire Risk Assessment. This means that the onus is now on you, the business owner.
A Fire Risk Assessment consists of a complete evaluation of the business premises, taking into account things like building layout, number of floors, occupancy profile, sources of fuel and stored combustible materials (to name but a few).
The main aim of a Fire Risk Assessment is to prevent injury and loss of life. It should identify fire hazards and people at risk, and examine means to remove or reduce the risk of fire. A written record of the assessment must be kept, reviewed and updated regularly or when deemed necessary. An emergency plan must also be recorded and adequate training provided to all employees.
It is the responsibility of the so called ‘Responsible Person’ in the business to ensure that a Fire Risk Assessment is carried out and kept up-to-date. Although the Responsible Person can carry out the Fire Risk Assessment personally, sufficient understanding is required to do this and it is usually advisable to employ an outside contractor. This is especially recommended if the premises are complex or combustible products are stored and used there.
Any business opting to complete a self-assessment is encouraged to read our helpful checklist beforehand. This document outlines all key areas of focus, including fire doors and exits, people at risk and safety equipment.
Regularly Reviewing your Fire Risk Assessment
Although legislation states that your Fire Risk Assessment should be regularly reviewed and kept up-to-date there is actually no fixed time-frame set for review. The usual recommendation would be to review the Fire Risk Assessment annually. It would also be advisable to review your Fire Risk Assessment if anything at your premises significantly changes (e.g. changes to the building, occupancy, activities etc.).
Who Will Enforce the Fire Safety Order?
It’s useful to know that your local fire and rescue authority will ensure Fire Safety compliance is met in most commercial premises. They will have the power to inspect your premises and check you are complying with Fire Safety legislation and carrying out your duties as the Responsible Person. They will want to see evidence that your Fire Risk Assessment has been carried out, acted upon, maintained and updated where necessary.
Red Box Fire Control Fire Risk Assessment
If you feel that you don’t have sufficient knowledge and understanding, or even the time, to carry out your own Fire Risk Assessment, Red Box Fire Control will be able to help. We will divide your Fire Risk Assessment into three areas:
- The file of Evidence Audit
- The Fire Safety Management Audit
- The Fire safety Training Audit
You will then receive a full and user friendly report outlining the actions you should take.
If you need our expertise to assist with your Fire Risk Assessment...