Fire Safety: What employers need to do

By November 8, 2017Advice

Fire safety one of the most important areas of safety management, and being an employer makes you responsible for fire safety in your place of work.

Legally, it is up to you to ensure the right procedures and behaviours are in place to protect everyone in your premises from fire hazards. Here, we’ll look at what you need to do to make sure that takes place.

Fire regulations

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order was introduced in 2005. It names anyone who has control of premises, or anyone who has a degree of control over certain areas or systems, as the ‘responsible person’ for taking reasonable steps to reduce the risk of fire and making sure people can safely escape if there is a fire.

As the responsible person you must:

  • Carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly

  • Tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified

  • Put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures

  • Plan for an emergency

  • Provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training

Failure to comply with the regulations could lead to either an improvement or prohibition notice being issued by the Local Fire Authority, HSE or the Local Authority. Financial penalties range from £5,000, to an unlimited amount plus up to two years in prison.


Fire risk assessments

Carrying out a fire risk assessment requires you to do the following:


  1. Identify fire hazards

  • Sources of ignition

  • Sources of fuel

  • Sources of oxygen

  1. Identify people at risk

  • People in and around the premises

  • People who are especially at risk

  1. Evaluate, remove or reduce, and protect from risk

  • Evaluate the risk of a fire starting

  • Evaluate the risk to people from a fire

  • Remove or reduce fire hazards

  • Remove or reduce the risks to people from a fire

  • Protect people by providing fire precautions

  1. Record, plan, inform, instruct, and train

  • Record any major findings and action you have taken

  • Discuss and work with other responsible people

  • Prepare an emergency plan

  • Inform and instruct relevant people

  • Provide training

  1. Review

  • Review your fire-risk assessment regularly

  • Make changes where necessary

The assessment record should be retained and made available, on request, to the enforcing authority. Fire safety law requires information to be recorded where five or more employees are employed (whether they are on site or not).

What can you do?

We advise on the following minimum requirements once you’ve conducted your fire risk assessment:

  • Clear potential obstructions from pathways

  • Define and mark escape routes and fire doors

  • Install smoke detectors and check the batteries every three months

  • Install warning lights for the hearing impaired and klaxons for the visually impaired

  • Create a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) for all physically impaired persons

  • Get the correct type of fire extinguishers installed

  • Carry out and record regular fire safety checks

  • Ensure all employees receive fire safety training

  • If you have emergency lighting, check it every month

  • Conduct a fire drill at least once a year

Learn more

To find out more about the causes of fire, how to prevent fires, the fire safety precautions you’ll need to take, the correct fire extinguishers you’ll need and what to do in case of fire, please speak to a Deminos advisor on 020 7870 1090 or take our Fire Safety eLearning course by clicking here.


Author David Ralph

More posts by David Ralph

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