Businesses urged to plan for new fire safety legislation
This campaign by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) helps businesses understand their fire safety responsibilities and therefore remain safe, legal, and compliant.
Many fires in the workplace are preventable and some businesses never recover after such an incident. Helping businesses to manage their fire risks and hazards, and potentially save lives and safeguard themselves against financial and commercial loss, is of key importance.
Simple measures to reduce risks of a fire starting, and ensuring staff know how to respond in the right way, can help to keep people safe - and makes good business sense.
At this time of year, many businesses will be preparing for the Christmas period and may also be impacted by the cost of living crisis. It’s important that businesses consider the risk of fire in any changes they make to their premises and/or ways of working, as well as making sure that all staff are aware of fire safety in the workplace.
From 1 October, new fire safety legislation comes into effect. This will mean that many businesses and building owners need to check if and how this affects them, to ensure they are complying with the regulations. The main changes are:
- All businesses will need to record a fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements in full – regardless of the number of employees, and size or type of business.
- There are increased requirements for cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons in multi-occupied buildings, or those where the occupier and owner are not the same person.
- In residential buildings with two or more domestic premises, residents must be provided with information on the risks from fire and the fire safety measures provided to keep them safe.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people not to cut corners with safety when buying electrical items as Christmas gifts this year.
Group Manager Graham Kewley, from the DWFRS fire safety team, said: “It’s essential that businesses take the time to look at the new fire safety regulations and ensure that their fire risk assessment is properly recorded. The Service can give advice and support to anyone unsure about what is required, and there is a wealth of information on our website, including guidance on how to complete a fire risk assessment – just visit www.dwfire.org.uk/business-fire-safety”
Gavin Tomlinson, the NFCC’s Protection & Business Safety Committee Chair, added: “Fire and rescue services are committed to helping all types of businesses reduce the risk of fire in the workplace and be compliant with fire safety law. We don’t expect businesses to be experts, which is why we are here to provide help and advice. We encourage any business to work with their fire service to help prevent fires and remain productive, safe and legal.”