UK Fire Compliance

The facts that you need to know as commercial businesses in the UK.

According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005, businesses need at least one ‘Responsible Person’, often for larger businesses a small team of responsible people are required. This guide is to help these people understand their responsibilities.

Managers or owners can also use this to check their business is 100% compliant using the most common and easy to check regulation features.

In the year prior to the RRO of 2005, there were over 33,400 fires in UK businesses. These killed 38 people, and injured over 1.300. The cost of these fires were estimated at £2.5bn. With the cost of fires including property damage, human casualties, and lost business. It’s easy to see why many businesses don’t reopen following a fire.

Your first step is to arrange a Fire Risk Assessment.

In part two, Articles 8-22B, covers in detail the on-going requirements, including specifically in Article 9 the need to carry out a fire risk assessment.

Fire Compliance Checklist

Have you had a Fire Risk Assessment (FRO)?
Are the portable fire extinguishers or any fixed firefighting equipment provided suitable for controlling the risks identified?
Are there enough extinguishers sited throughout the premises at appropriate locations?
Are the right types of extinguishers located close to the fire hazards and can users get to them without exposing themselves to risk?
Are the extinguishers visible or does their position need indicating?
Have you taken steps to prevent the misuse of extinguishers?
Do you regularly check equipment provided to help maintain the escape routes?
Do you carry out daily checks to ensure that there is clear access for fire engines?
Are those who test and maintain the equipment competent to do so?
Do you have the necessary procedures in place to maintain any facilities that have been provided for the safety of people in the building (or for the use of firefighters, such as access for fire engines and firefighting lifts)?
Is your building constructed, particularly in the case of multi-storey buildings, so that, if there is a fire, heat and smoke will not spread uncontrolled through the building to the extent that people are unable to use the escape routes?
Are any holes or gaps in walls, ceilings and floors properly sealed, e.g. where services such as ventilation ducts and electrical cables pass through them?
Can all the occupants escape to a place of total safety in a reasonable time?
Are the existing escape routes adequate for the numbers and type of people that may need to use them, e.g. staff, contractors and disabled people?
Are the exits in the right place and do the escape routes lead as directly as possible to a place of total safety?
If there is a fire, could all available exits be affected or will at least one route from any part of the premises remain available?
Are the escape routes and final exits kept clear at all times?
Do the doors on escape routes open in the direction of escape?
Can all final exit doors be opened easily and immediately if there is an emergency?
Will everybody be able to safely use the escape routes from your premises?
Are the people who work in the building aware of the importance of maintaining the safety of the escape routes, e.g. by ensuring that fire doors are not wedged open and that combustible materials are not stored within escape routes?
Are there any particular or unusual issues to consider?
Will there always be sufficient lighting to safely use escape routes?
Do you have back-up power supplies for your emergency lighting?
Where necessary, are escape routes and exits, the locations of firefighting equipment and emergency telephones indicated by appropriate signs?
Have you provided notices such as those giving information on how to operate security devices on exit doors, those indicating doors enclosing fire hazards that must be kept shut and fire action notices for staff and other people?
Are you maintaining all the necessary signs and notices so that they continue to be correct, legible and understood?
Are you maintaining signs that you have provided for the information of the fire and rescue service, such as those indicating the location of water suppression stop valves and the storage of hazardous substances?
Do you regularly check all your firefighting equipment?
Do you regularly check your fire-detection and alarm equipment?
Are those who test and maintain the equipment competent to do so?
Do you keep a log book to record tests and maintenance?
Have your staff received any fire safety training?
Are employees aware of specific tasks if there is a fire?