Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their staff. Depending on the size of company premises, this may involve installing fire safety equipment. But the responsibility does not end there – once installed, all equipment and escape routes must be regularly checked, tested and maintained to ensure that staff and property are adequately protected should a fire break out.
So who is responsible for checking equipment, and how often should it be done?
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, in any non-domestic premises a 'Responsible Person' (RP) must be identified, and it is the duty of this person to ensure that fire safety standards are met. The RP is usually an employer, landlord, building manager or managing agent, but in a building such as a school, this may be the head teacher or a governor. Once the RP has arranged for a fire risk assessment to be carried out, appropriate fire safety measures must then be put in place. These are likely to include:
Again, depending on the size of the building, the RP should appoint fire wardens (also known as fire marshals), whose jobs include checking equipment and ensuring it is well maintained.
Every non-domestic premises will have its own requirements depending on the size and layout of the building and the number of people inside. However, as a general guide we recommend the following checks should be carried out:
Crucially, it's important to log each test to ensure you have an audit trail of fire safety checks. Should an incident occur, you'll then be able to prove to police or fire authorities that you have taken your responsibilities seriously.
You could use a physical log book, but for enhanced security and efficiency a digital log is a good idea. Speak to us about our fire safety risk assessment and inspection apps!
Here at Allsaved, we work tirelessly to achieve the highest levels of compliance with fire safety regulations, while always ensuring a cost effective service for our clients. If you'd like further advice on any aspect of fire safety, please don't hesitate to get in touch.