How to Ensure Your Business Passes Its Fire Safety Inspection
Commitments to upholding the most stringent fire safety standards are at the heart of any company’s health and safety compliance. While fire risk assessments are an essential part of ensuring complete fire safety, there is another element you should be aware of: fire safety inspections. Fire Safety Officers could visit your premises at any time to assess its fire safety measures, so it’s best to be prepared to avoid potential closure. In this month’s article, we’ll be outlining how you can ensure your business passes its fire safety inspection. But first:
What Are Fire Safety Inspections?
All introduced legislation must be enforced somehow, and the same applies to the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Fire safety inspections are how these pieces of legislation are enforced by Fire Safety Officers. They can call at any time to ensure your premises is fire safe.
Failure to ensure your premises comply with fire safety standards can result in closure until the shortfall has been rectified. However, normally any minor infractions are noted in a report and must be addressed promptly. Preparation is key to ensuring your premises passes its inspection, and below are some of the areas of interest.
Establish Evacuation Procedures
Evacuation procedures are central to responsible fire safety planning. Designated and accessible fire exits are, in turn, an essential element of any suitable evacuation plan. Ensure there are plenty of satisfactory fire exits, clearly marked, and that the evacuation routes are always kept clear. Also, fire doors should always remain closed.
Appropriate signage around your premises must denote where the fire exits are and where the fire fighting equipment is housed, such as fire extinguishers. Inadequate signage may result in a fail.
Suitable and Serviced Fire Fighting Equipment
Fire extinguishers come in all shapes and sizes, and you should have the appropriate ones installed on your premises for the type of work your company undertakes. Chemical or electrical fires require a different fire extinguisher, for example, than wood fires. A competent person will be able to help you with this. Once acquired, they should be routinely serviced and properly installed.
Fire Detection Systems
Being able to detect a fire is almost as important as preparing your premises against one. Fire alarms should be regularly tested and responsibly positioned. Failure on either of these parts can compromise the safety of your company.
Staff Fire Safety Training
Have a group of your staff attend a fire safety course. These fire wardens will be responsible in the event of a fire for the timely and complete evacuation of the premises, accounting for all once outside.
You should also pass out a number of fire safety informational leaflets among your entire workforce. Some knowledge is better than none at all when it comes to dealing with fires and evacuations. Fire drills should be carried out regularly too.
Competent Persons & Fire Risk Assessments
Above all, the only way for you to ensure that your business passes its fire safety inspection is to have a comprehensive fire risk assessment carried out. You may be able to carry this out yourself if you are responsible for the business as a whole, but we don’t recommend doing so. Fire safety is important, and only a competent person with the relevant expertise should be relied upon to carry out a risk assessment. In this way, you can ensure that your business is ready for its fire safety inspection, whenever it may be.
Cheshire Fire provide a range of fire safety services including fire alarm installations, fire safety training and free site surveys across the Cheshire area. For a specialised and detailed fire risk assessment of your premises, contact our friendly team today.